«W<J^*w»<»^i»**- w »* l ^'**'^'^*^ ww * WWMl ' w * ,JW; '*
*^**** , ^- ra ^^*W^VOJ<H«»r<iT
TABLE OF CONTENTS, continued
Brothers of the Sea
Mountains Veiled In Mist..
Drearaer. ...... ......
The One That Got Away.-..
o o o o o »
o o o o o o o
« © a 9
Thus Far And No Further,
Sunday Afternoons 9 • ,
OCC-3.C J_ y 30,0 09*90*900*909*0<
The Prize-Winning Photograph of a War Corre-spondfiflJL^.-*
St. Martin And The Beggar.
Is It Too Late For Dreano?
Grace Before Meal s. .......
O * - 9-9' ©99
♦ -a^o- •-<* • * °
<y o • * z> « 09-0 <■ -9 3 O O O
. ... 36
O 9 O 9 JO
WORDEATER XLI STAFF
Judy Belfield Maureen Mueller
Steve Faron Michael A. Stillman
David Moore Randy Var ju
To get a submission printed in this iscue, four of the above had to vote for
acceptance. For the award winners, only John Stobart is responsible.
Manuscripts or. cover designs for JJORDEATER number 42 nust be submitted to John
Stpbart^ir^room C-1069 by December 3. Manuscripts will not be returned. They nay
•be anonymous and SHOULD BE TYPED. • ■ • <•• • — *-<v>*»«««
***.-, ■. :<£ Wianers for this issue: * » - - v
w # • fey • ^, t 9 , w - . j , v . -
POETRY — TERI MOORE — $25 PROSE — JAYJT3 WOODCOCK — $25
(Past prize winners are only considered when no new contributors seen worthy. )
COVERS: MICHAEL A. STILLMAN — $20
February 15, 1982 and April 15, 1982
All copyrights are retained by the authors, and material may not be pri$te<_ without
TABLE OF CONTENTS
R. Walser Yale
Brothers of the Sea
Michael A. Stillman
Michael A. Stillman
Michael A. Stillman
-—Judy B»l?£fe Id -
*%R. "Salter Yale
Adriane Say lor
Michael A. Stillman
Brothers of the Sea
Brothers of the S^a
"" Judy FcTfield
Dog Chow Dog
League , Ltd.
R. Waloer Yale
9 3*V t
. . e « . o 9
O O O « 9
o o o e o
Another Party. ..... ... ........ ....... - -
Smile .............. ............
What Is Ours Is Ours,...
Wine Knot. » »«■«
Prelude To The Evening Of A Young Dawn,
J- JLfOVe .9...00..0.0«..*..0.0 9.... 00 °.. 0e
otrengtn. . ... . . . . . . . . . . .■•• -»•»»»»»'•».»»»«» • «
Nonsense. ...........................»» ,: '
Sonata Of The Ravine. ........... .......
Artist' o Block. . ........... ....o. ... ° • «
Do\mc And Upo. fr . ••••••••. ...o y
Changing Voice^. © * J* • » • > « ; » • *'• *| #;# •
Oh, To Be In Ncbulfi In Springtime
VJllcinCGG -L y JLJLo ©0©©©*©0©0©00©©0©0©
Atl ii.nGWG2T ooe>oo©ocoo©'©©oo©c©oooo©o
i-jCgQCy q o«a*ooeoo*«eoo««o*«eciB«oo»
X «^-C-V_^Oo ©oa©>o©o©©o©©©©©©oo©o o o o o * o o
Rime Of The Night. ...............
Understanding. . ..................
JUjL 1 1C o o*ooo ©.« ooo©©o©oo©©©or©«9»o
The Coffee Shop. ..................
Out To The Greengarden Gate......
\J\1 CC X. C» CXT o ©©ooo©o©o«©o©oooo©o©©©oe
Expanding Feelings. ..............
X OUl -L-'v-elLILo ooo<-»©o0o»»ocoooooooooo _
Agony In Eden. ...<.. 8
A Death In Ancient Greece (Or In Bayonne, Jersey)..... 6
\JXX DtXy \j 1j XtvG -1 ill OoQ©©«e©©©»©o©©©©oooooeo,©o©o©oo99oo©o©*©«» y
Don't Fight The Feeling............... j)
For Kathy And Betsy And Me..
D a isies And Diaamonds.. .
Nirvana (Searching For You)
o c» © 9 9
• o 9 ©
o a o •
O O 9 © O
9 9 © 9 ©
o © o o a © o
© O 9
o © © 9 9
• « : e* * i
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Popcorn And Concrete. .............. l()
Jt a«^U JLfO V G ii Ct/CUU. .o.o....oo»eoo..eo9oeoo..oo...«...o..o.o lV
Some thing is -i' ailing, . ......... .......... ................. > ^
( continued j
TABLE OF CONTENTS, continued
S. D. Butler
Michael A. Stillnan
Michael A$ Stillnan
Brothers of the Sea
Brothers of the Sea
Brothers of the Sea
R. Walser Yale
Brothers of the Sea
R. Walser Yale
Mary Rose Stonehouse
Michael A. Stillnan
Mary Rose Qt. nohouce
Cynthia Jane Craig
To A Wonan In Love ................ . . . . .
You (Reflections On Beauty) . . .
(WaS It7 ).................... V...^, ........
iJ Q LI cd-i G \-> 'llC oa*ooooo ooooooc»oooo »aooaoc.ooo»oo»»c*oooo
A Flower In My Hair
It Might Have Been Saturday Afternoon.
Anniversary. . . . . .
Tine For Hin To Leave.
Yl tiLi lOi O o • O o • © 9 m co oao«ooooeoo»aoooooe>ooooooeooo«ooc
/"i. X XT 1 O IT Li i-<0 ou>aoso*o«e>o*oo*«»oo>eo<»oooe*«*eooooo>ecoao*
The Words Between. ....... ...... b s; . ............... ....
»» cilKl i*J5 oe>o«oooooo»w»ooooocoo»*o*oo>»»ooooocoo»oooooQ
i-J Oi L-C J. XL. nlKll Cc ooo»oooooooooo»«oooocooo«Qooooooooorfl
Elephant Heart Beats. ............
I'll Quit Tomorrow
Two Glasses Of Wine.
Always A Cup Between Us
Dear Low Joe , Fron Marianne.
I An The Shiver Of Your Skin. .................. ....
1MO L DUyiilS c »oooo*ooo»cooo»oooooooo»o«»ocoooo»doo»oo«
I Deal With You Just Fine.
-OGCilTOOI-l O^UoORv^ •oo#oeoooooo#oooioooccc'«oooo«»co»coe
This Heart. . ...
Sunday With Siniles. .......
The Other Wonan.
The Flick Of A Pale Blue Eye.............. . .
I Sing Me..............
The Ronantic Pen.
This Madness , Transcen 'encj.
He Left Me . . ........
Golden Shafts Of Light — and -- River Of Rhythm...
Street Sounds — and — He Didn't Really Look Hurt.
vlVG J/1V^ J-i. \~t J_OTlGo OCO*C»OOOOOOOCOOOO«00»00(»OOODO«0001
He Approached Slowly.
No Shades -- and -- Portrait.. .................... .
Sitting In The Marble-Walled Church................
Gothic Honey. ............
-L' -L lXL-\_iooooo«ooo(!ioDoooooo
Today Traction Died. .....
Word Leas ................
Bitch Of A Sun. ..........
Out To Lunch. ............
It's Yellow Tine...
The Sun Dips Slowly. .....
Moonlight Painted Cloud..
Up Fron Cof f een. .........
Alcohol And I Don't Mix..
Bread And Butterflies....
Tine To Love. ............
a a a ©
e o o o
<J o o o o ■
a o e
o « «
« * o o • o
o e o o • o
e © © c
Three Months Before Christnas. ............... .
Not Again. ....
And After That She Needed To Rest....
The Korean Pa j anas ...................
Purple Rhododendron. .................
Picture Perfect. .....................
Vacuuning. — and — Stand Beck.
Twinkie, Twinkle. . .. . .
Anti-Donestic — and — A Dieter's Lanent.
AH You Can Eat .....
. . O O O O O
O . O O
. • LI.
1 m • J) *J
(Continued on inside Back Cover)
II, Waloer Tale
Ah, another party -••
The indigested night.
A room full
F o o 1 s and c t r ang e
And one wiry,
Spooky , drunken
Whirling in a wild
To tell you
How man}' people
If for no purpose
To give your teeth
Soma breathing space
Brother s of the Sea
WHAT IS OURS IS OURS
What is ours is ours,
What is theirs is a x so ours,
Honor among thieves*
An old woman, just with her toes,
pulled all the hair from her nose.
She rose with a start,
and saio. ^rom aer neart,
'It-onl^ hurts when it blows 1"
Michael A. Stillman
PRELUDE TO TIE] EVENING OF A YOUNG DAWN
Put me under, Dr. Beaujolais,
Kiss me till I'm purple.
Tickle me* and pickle me,
Twiri#me »Ln a circle.
Take me, Dr. 3aau;olais,
To surgery with gloves.
Feel for me, sweet bubbly,
Give me all your love„
I love eating baby ducks
Hissing moving trains
I love winos when they're tight
Hookers when they're white
pepper in my tea
and V. D„
I love green mold on my bread
standing on my head
dirty picture shows
and picking my nose.
I love little bloody pups
dirty ba^hrogm cups
breakfast from McDonald's
and presidents named Ronald.
And I love you too!
Doctor Johnson came into the
Surgical Intensive waiting room
and saw a squat, balding man sit-
ting on the front edge of the couch
frowning at the TV, The ashtray
beside his elbow was overflowing,,
,: Mr. Thornley?" Dr. Johnson
ITorman Thornley slowly looked
toward him through eyes watei-3' and
inflamed ^d no dded
Several long strides brought
Dr. Johnson closer, looking down
on Thornley who did not stand or
offer his hand to shake.
Tall and aloof, Dr. Johnson
detached himself from all emotion.
"I'll be blunt," he said,
though he was always blunt, whether or
not he warned people about it.
Select a full-bodied word;
Rumples tilt skin, for example,
A word that can't rest quietly,
A word that has to be shouted out:
Savor the word,
Suck in your cheeks, .^
Blow 'em out,
And roll those consonants
Over 3rour tongue:
Make up your own little song,
Walk the streets and hum it loudly and cheerily:
RUM ?LS STILT SICEN, DA DA DA DA!
MMM MMM MMMMH MMMM, 3A DA 3A DA!
Finally, seize every opportunity
To use your private find
In conversations with the unsuspecting.
"My, my it's really a Rumplestiltskin of
a day, isn't it?"
You'll really get a Rumplestiltskin out of it.
eight hours. 3ut yes, I think she'll
make it. Recovery will take a long, long
"Your wife is in very grave condition. time feut ghe seems to be a very strong
has been beaten with a blunt instru- woman to survive all this, Mr. Thornley.
And that's what you'll need — patience
nent. Probably a piece of pipe or a
hammer. And she has several stab wounds
about which I'm puzzled. Hone of these
are very deep. Almost as though the per-
petrator wasn' t trying to kill her that
way. Very strange. Finally, she has a
gunshot wound in the abdomen, small cali-
Thornley struggled slowly to his feet.
"Will she . „ . will she live?" he
asked in a harsh whisper, biting his low-
"We'll know more in the ne::t forty-
Norman Thornley turned away to look
out the large window at the midnight
"She's going to live," he muttered,
"3e strong," Dr. Johnson repeated..
in his best professional tone.
Be strong, Thornley wondered. Where
at my age will I get enough strength
to do it all again?
I feel like a Weed today,
Tall spindly and prickly.
Shooting out my arms
To protect my turf.
Implanting myself firmly,
Pushing my heels down
Into moist soil and
Feeling fat worms
Slip over my roots.
31owing raspberries to the radishes,
Curling around the carrots,
Nudging Idaho ' s toes
And I don't want to hear any corn.
I dare anyone to pluck me up.
I'm green today and this is my_ gai-d en-
Michael A. Stillman
The wind ripples the lake.
The unseen makes itself known
To the eye.
Trying to maintain the clarity of vision,
It fades into the soft edge of evening.
I listen to the silence and realize —
Capable of thunder,
.1 ivn <v>nf^nt: \rith peace or mind.
***** * **
Michael A. Stillman
SONATA 0? THZ RA7H7I
Pressure building in the inner ear
Confrontation spawning fear
linages moving inside the brain
Repression' s workload back again
Flowers wilt in freezing rain
Blades of memory penetrate
When night lies deep
Scraping bone and goring flesh,
They withdraw satisfied.
Welcome to my reality
Shaped by heredity and environment
And poisoned by experience,
We were playing roulette out on the desert.
My friend Tammy and I.
„. ,. , : _ I thought I heard someone crying across
Vincent died on tne cross ror someone's sins t « _i an - n
But not his own
Civic pride is conformity's den
And he's stoned
I knew a poet once
She was overcome by Plathetic moods;
Her muse was the rcuro.
in her chiascuro,
And the dep
in her manic-depressive wardrobe,
But she said it was just two bobcats,
The desert stars were sharp as pins
As they sizzled through our retinas.
Our optic nerves were burning
As we felt the chamber spin;
Another mood dressed in gun-metal black,
And the trigger clicked again,
An artist grew a painting once,
Called "Ravine in the Peyroulets";
It is a tortured canvas of half-brushstrokes
Maybe if I could just close my eyes . , . -^ ±g ^iU living.
It features a mountainside audibly burning,
And a Stygian stream
flowing in ice over sharp rocks,
Carrying the viewer to
His own personal hell.
This artist sold only two paintings
In his mercifully short life,
and "Ravine" was not one of them.
Always tired, but never sleepy:
The Insomniac's curse.
There's too much to see
with my eyes closed.
Did I just hear a cry for help?
Like 7an Gogh, I'll lend an ear.
They tell me that the world is spinning;
I feel so much, but never that.
The dying light of a quarter moon
Makes the rainbow fade
To all of the colors of gray,
And my nerve endings scream
Like nails «n slate.
Can you hear it?
An artist is feeling without a net
into the void
The deep black void.
Can you hear it now?
I could twist you
into a pop-art, soup-can, cartnon collage,
or a classic statue of Bacchus,
grape leaves falling on your forehead
I might pound you as flat
as Grandma Moses's grass,
or a Lichtenstein cow
grazing in a field of yellow lemons,,
You could sit in a diner
at three in the morning
on a soft plastic toilet seat,
contemplating the bust of Homer,
Rembrandt browns in the background,
and Titian angels at your feet,
You could be a clock
squeezed like a tear
out of a Joan Iiiro eye,
or coiled like a spiral jetty
in the center of a Roman arch.
You could be any of these things —
I sit here considering the possibilities
you sleep in that lump of clay,
and don't even dream.
DOWNS AND UPS
Loneliness isn't just being left by myself.
It's being with someone I know doesn't cars.
It's being used, then set carelessly back on a shelf,
and being only one, where there should be a pair.
Sadness isn't just losing when I should have won.
It's the pain in ny stomach that won't go away.
It's the tears in my eyes that blot out the sun,
and maize me wish for no more new days.
Hope isn' t just a glimmer in the bad; of my mind.
It's something that gets me through a difficult bout.
It's knowing to keep looking and someday I'll find
that peace at the end of my long, uphill route.
Contentment is more than just not being driven.
It's smiling on the inside, as well as the out.
It's knowing I've received as much as I've given,
and living each day, once more, free of doubt.
Judy 3el field
R. Walser Yale
How to escape
Your own —
Reading to mirrors
How to escape
OH, TO BS IN NEBULA IN SPRINGTIME
Oh, to be in Nebula in springtime,
far away from the trill of songbirds,
the bittersweet fragrance of clovex-,
and the hints of honeysuckle in the Air.
My arms feel so bare
as I try to hide
in the corners of my winter self,
peeking out from time to time,
only to spot one more flowerbud,
and know it is too exquisitely real.
I dread the caress" of April,
for it means to drown me,
while saffron-faced Phoebus looks softly through clouds.
Oh, to be in Nebula,
where the seasons are so much the same
they aren't given names.
I want to sit there
among the clustered stars,
keeping watch on the darkness,
and come home on the first snowflake of December.
How to escape
To tunnel under,
Climb over —
No secret door,
Which I am
Not yet ready
Beware you tyrant lover
Cast no shadows on my dreams,
Prepare yourself to battle
You'll not use your caustic schemes.
I'll survive your onslaught
Though you've staged a vicious war,
I'll 3tand, my head above the clouds
A scepter in your gtorrn.
I'll face the ic}' winds
Lashing violently at me,
I'll withstand the devastation
I'll preserve my dreams.
There'll be no annihilation
No forsaken dreams to grieve,
You'll not tempt me to abandon
For I still believe.
CHANCES I, II
Unlock my chains
I want to be held
One second longer
Strength, break these bonds,
Release vaj mind
I've learning to do
My brain will
Take on any test.
Heart and lungs
Fortify my muscles
With a hungering power
To tear down resistance.
My day has arrived
I have prepared
Now I will act.
Take l-TI CHANCES.
Give me some room
I want to stretch out
Develop all my talents.
Mistakes don't worry me
They're part of growing.
Besides they are mine
I can use them later.
.JL. *W-*t- fc t- _'-..'-*.'-
"keep your sense of humor"
Have heard this cliche
It's really hard though,
when at night I lay.
"Smile through your tears
Let come what may."
How can I when
there is no pay?
Nc food for the kids
from day to day.
Tomorrow will he better
I pray that it may
Somewhere — somehow
I'll find the way.
What do you say
when you see a woman
with the sky in her hands
holding up the moon
this lady tells you
tomorrow is now
asks you to hold on tight
she ' s gonna take you for a
moan-ride over Cowtown
You look at her
with one eye on the way
she's got you fixed
in her lust/best stare
and you say yes
and forget that any moment
up till then
existed for either one of you.
Sometimes we are as children needing to be
led, yet not always following in stride. Children
of the world, while you *x«* yet naive, I ask that
you hear my words. Perhaps then you may find your
true selves and fear not the inevitable, for you
will appreciate the transcience of life and breathe
each breath with a revived gratitude.
Your adversary shall be persistent, even now he
creeps up — - silentlj?- devastating. Yet worry not
about things you may only delay and never truly
prevent. Accept the interlude in peaceful slumber.
Celebrate life each day, for in sorrow there is
Once you have found the gatex/ay to your inner selves
and touched your very soul, you shall see that no
reward lies in fearing a termination which comes of
every living being. It will then appear to you a
natural course; one that may onljr be accepted, for
in time your rebellion against it would become a
Life conceals so much sadness in the shadows of
laughter ... make peace among yourselves, yet
especially with yourself. Attempt not to conquer
the evil in others, but that of yourself.
For every dream I gave away or left in an embryonic
stage; for every dawn I neglected to observe and
every passion I let lay unkindled in slumber — I
leave these to you, for in knowing you, I came to
know myself. In all people I have seen a portion
of myself. Thus, I leave behind hope that you will
also find such eplendor in awakening and serenity
And things that should
Little boy cries
And then he sighs
A brand new broken toy
*X* — , - *A» *| —X—I« •-£-• •. '.»
*\ ** *V ?W\?V *\ 4\
Faces have told me stories.
In them the world has been revealed to me.
I have seen faces of hate, grotesque and withdrawn.
Faces of love were beautiful,
Glowing i n the full radiance of the sun.
Hunger can also be seen on faces —
Black faces, brown faces, yellow faces,
Red f^ces q^^. wn ite faces.
They are hollow. They plead.
Faces of peace are relaxed, joyful and full of life,
I have also seen the faces of war, distorted,
b^ng Joy Broken by despair \/ith no hope in sight.
The faces of the future are bright and hopeful.
The faces of the past are empty, revealing nothing
Of the life they live.
Some faces are alluring. These belong to the
The contorted faces belong to haters
Those who make war and cause hunger.
Faces do reveal the world.
RIME 0? THE NIGHT
If we can feel the heat
Rising in between
Then it must be real
If we can pierce the sky
Come out the other side
Then it must be true
If we can^ dream a life
With the* ceilings high
Then it must be ours
If we can carve a heart
Out of moon9 and sighs
Then it must be love
Sometimes I can see tomorrow
And we're smiling there
But sometimes the wheel keeps turning
And we ju3t don't care
Sometimes the hope is shining
And it burns right through
Sometimes the moon is breathing
And you're feeling blue
And sometimes I wish we were sane . « .
You are STARING
I'm not an exhibit,,
Do you think I'm an object
To be leered at?
I'm a person
Not an alien being.
Why do you GAWK?
My existence is real
No special effects,
I don't hiss or growl*
There are those who are sighted,
but cannot see,
How very sad those people
Their eyes can focus and
But they miss the point with
only a blink.
They may look, and watch
and study and hear,
But refuse to consider or
think — out of
They cannot accept and
They're helpless as aliens
in an alien land.
There are those wit hout vision,
who inform and tell,
And understand what they
"see" so well.
They listen and feel for
They're faithful to the vigil
that they keep.
They strain to know and
care and feel,
Their senses lead them to
what is real.
They reason out all that they
And present their answer
to the sighted man<t
Somehow the unfairness
V .- .— w<
Even if onl3 T to me,
-t ,.-, . *. . . r-. ^.^^^^^ „„„ TTr -,„„ r Which makes sense.
Nothing about me justifies your INTENSE SCRUTINY.
I have a soul;
You are similarly ■ endowed, I gather,
But you find it necessary
As a victim
Understanding is my forte,
Wrongs, no matter how trivial
Are hoisted upon me.
Why do you tap on my window so?
I won't let you in.
Your sly, wrinkled grin
D'oesn't Fool me.
I will not be overcona
By your sneaky silence.
I know you're still there
Hoping to creep stealthily
Into my house,
With gnarled, tfemMing* fingers,
Unwanted signs of age on my body.
THE COEESS SHOP
Ravenous eyes seel: consolation in a fam-
iliar face; perhaps u smile would suffice,
even if only temporarily,,
Caffein and nicotine enthusiasts congre-
gate to indulge their daily requirements.
Bleary-eyed, shadowy- featured figures make
their way through the morning — so their
mundane routine commences,,
I have never tasted the blandness of hol-
low routine, somehow spared the abomina-
tions of a stagnant life and devoid of the
repressed dreams that dwell within merely
I have always existed as an unruly limb
upon a birch, refusing to conform to the
direction of the majority,, I proceed in
fathoms of controversy,.
Some stare blankly as dreams wither and
perisho Caffein dawning and barbital
gleaming; between the two, jsn, empty
Sacrificial martyrs. 1 pity
though it was their own ^abstinent palms
that set them upon the baser rung3 of
subsistence. Sometimes the sacrifice
is not worthy of its alleged ad- antage.
Some profess to be resilient; always
bending, never breaking. Bowing obedient-
ly to the winds, so taut forms will not
snap under its pressure. Fragmatic lives;
no frivolity; no caprice. Immobile in
their own refuse, blaming the very en-
vironment in which they chose to dwell
for the adversity bestowed upon them.
Some so easily mastered, they were des-
tined to be servants.
Midmorning rain batters the window of
the coffee shop, but I do not succumb
as do these haggard realists. I decide,
after observing the products of meaning-
less existence to nourish my dreams to
full bloom — reality.
*\ <•* 4\ *\ * WV tfY
Michael A. Stillman
OUT TO THE GRSE1TGARDEN GATE
Out to the Greengarden gate
to wait for the jingle of keys,
take that foot off my face —
I'm a lasting disgrace
to my mother.
Out to the bluelilac lake,
and taking my tinsel along.
I may be wrong
about all the right things,
but honey still stings —
and there's mother,
pulling a shawl
overall of her all,
and trying to hide from the shame.
I conquered, but saw I was lame,
just the came —
there never was laurel in clover.
The day had to end
on one side or the other,
and when it was over —
there was mother,
kissing a vagrant in velveteen jeans
and ripping my seams out from under.
But was it over?
Out to the fir-bearing forest
to pick up the crackling cones.
Like the mess in my bedroom on Monday,
they litter the landscape til Sunday,
emitting a chorus of groans and moans —
and mother sits next to the door,
welding my underwear right to the floe
Can't bother with father;
he'd rather just lather
no matter the patter,
the rant or the rave.
There gti.ll aint another
you and I we
hide a face the
flat pavane we
feel a mind but
you and I we
talk a friend the
time alone we
share a pain cut
you and I we
spark a blood the
killing sun we
live a life shut
Brothers of the Sea
An emotional snowball,
Ever growing love.
like toothless old mother,
biting my bones like an acid refrain:
"What have I to gain,
what have I to lose,
what have I to take to the tomb?
There isn't a mile, but an inch,
so they say,
from maturity back to the womb."
Your death has crawled
Into me like a snake
That masquerades as vein —
If only I could bleed it away*
But, instead, it slides and hides and laughs
Its echoes of madness,
Sucking at my raw brains,
AGONY IN EDEN
Drawing, away the dregs of my strength.
aeatn is a worm
Which lays her eggs
On my heart,,
I CAN SEE IT 50 CLEAR
I can see it so clear —
but I'm too weak to fight,
too tired to run,
too scared to cry.
Don't look at. me,
I can see tears rolling
down your cheek.
Tears are no solution.
They don't heal.
I'm leaving soon
and I'm sorry.
I didn't choose this.
Nobody asked for my opinion.
You know I don't want to go —
and it gnaws my inaides so painfully.
It hurts, but I have ^destiny.
Save your stupid pity. ■■
It only makes me realize my alternatives
Stop crying I say!
Grow up for once
and leave me now.
My god, everyone has to die
ON DAYS LIKE THIS
There is an agony in Eden
which cannot speak itself,
and so it writhes
in the lush and lonely moonlight,
as its slow heartbeat
throbs against the damp earth,
as it searches the stars for a voice
which will wail through eternity,
and echo back
seven times seven.
Death stalks Eden in the night,
lightly fingering a cage of ribs,
which flutters delicately like a harp
a sudden gasp sucks in
a final breath,
and the cold shadow
moves silently on.
Where are the words of anguish,
and how am I to say them
with rocks on my throat
and God's leaden foot
on my soul?
On days like this
When all the guys
In flannel shirt9
And baseball hats
Remind me of you.
When the gray sky
Is just a shade of blue.
When the wind in my hair
Feels like your hand
As if somewhere,
You're remembering too.
On days like this
A DEATH IN ANCIENT GREECE
(OR IN 3AY0NNE, NEW JERSEY)
Be quick, sweet hemlock,
Expedient upon the heart.
Let breath fly swift away.
Breath which long has mocked mortality.
Make haste this brave departure,
For Slow convulses to ashen hue, and
Drowns in its own drool,
Of those which loathe to grieve.
The dayf lower, the sparrow and I
Taste the wind.
That ' s enough ;
Though I know it's just
That makes me smile.
As the passing
Of the Sea
DON'T EIGHT THE FEELING
Don't fight the feeling,
Stay with me til morning comei
Says she who fears not.
Though you are near me,
I walk alone o
Even my shadow dawdles,
detached from all things
good and evil.
Discontented in attachment
yet moreso in this indifference,,
Fearing the consequences
of being afraid.
Though your lips grase my cheek
I feel emptiness and sadness;
But of what?
Of what is not?
I cannot simulate love.
I walk alone,
whether I am or not.
The ultimate emptiness.
I am not aged
yet feel a drained weariness.
Have my emotions chilled
so I may not love?
I am so distant, so remote,
yet willfully so.
Suffering to keep from suffering,
Feeling nothing so I may not feel pain.
An empty abyss,
God, has it come to this?
*X*aJ* tJ** *.',.».>-. iJ* &.ta •>£*
^OR KATHY AND BETSY AND MS
DAISIES AND DIAMONDS
May I tell you of dimpled daisies
smiling at the thunder,
curling their velvety petals
over their faces
so the bellowing stonagods
can't see them giggle?
May I tell you of the thousand diamond
flashing in the gr g S s J ust a0 tIle sun
and how they glitter and dance
through the short morning hour
before they escape into the air
where they sparkle and stare
and wait for moonlight?
And may I tell you of fitful midnights
without any stars,
but only shadows and delusions
flickering out their illusory lives
into the deathbeds of darkness?
My empty soul is there,
mourning a .stillborn dream
xrhich lies silent and crumbling
in the dust.
Oh, yes --
I, too, would rather hear
of daisies and diamonds,,
Discontent clung to the corners of the room.
Loneliness curtained the windows.
These she cleaned and then
Swept up the anger of her sisters
Into a neat pile, an important accumulation.
She couldn't dispose of the sweepings. There was nothing she could give,
They seemed to her sacred, somehow, And so the pile remained thus
Like the burnt palms of Ash Wednesday For days and weeks ,
Or the remains of an ancient ancestor. Allowed to disappear- of its own volition.
Something of herself needed to be placed there
Among the gatherings, Now the house holds these fragments
To be mingled, Like the womb of
To be made common, A dead mother
Before the pile could be removed. Holds the bones
Yet she dismissed every idea of adding 'pearte ' Of her child „ . „
Or representations of herself As inconspicuous as
For fear they each contained Cobwebs in a cellar.
The whole of her existence.
Beneath the tree that shelters me,
I lie in quiet reverie.
No affection, passion left,
An empty shelf where they were .. kept.
Fragments of a severed heart
Are windswept, drifting, torn apart.
Shattered dreams in silent grief,
Scattered pieces in the breeze*
Among the ruins the rennantc stand,
Like withered cacti in the sand.
Dog Chow Dog
NIRVANA (SEARCHING FOR YOU)
Led in seeking
A tethered independence
For an unattainable goal,
With loyalty unflagging
That now is closed,
Will I find you
Street, lovely and
The Underground Poetry League, Ltd-
POPCORN AND CONCRETE
When it hits my senses
Like a long lost friend
I'jje got to remember e . .
• - ' ■ m
That familiar scent
To a better time
To a beat-up Pontiac
And a brown-eyed girl
And popcorn and concrete.
R. Wal3er Yale
SOMETHING IS FAILING
PAST LOVE PRESENT
You loved me.
Our love brightened
The darkest way.
Our hearts rang with joy,
Kisses sparked the heavens.
Thundered across mountainc
The sun's heat became a cool breeze
Ne:ct to the fire
In our hearts.
We were in love.
Let' s love now
Stepping lightly on the stair,
she glanced back but briefly,
with all the gold of cunchine
in her hair,
and on her face,
the glow of an enchanted smile*
In a moment's blinking
she was gone —
an apparition winking in a doorway
But in that small, unmeasured time,
before a mind could question,
another eye had caught the rhyme
of sunshine, glow and smile.
Something is failing.
It's falling and I can't
Put my finger on it
t enougn ringers
My room is . . . un
Clothes and sheets
And books *
Of unanswered letters,
Fall's ugly leaves
Blown and scattered
In gutters and corners —
In a piling disarray,
A strange chronological
I lay and listen
To Abbey Road
For the seven- hundred
First time ...
She couldn' t be
All th at heavy.
TO A WOMAN IN LOVE
To a woman in love,
Sometimes the vilest man
Evolves ' into an heroic character,
For a woman,
An emotion of such intensity
Clouds the vision,
Distracts the intellect
Immobilizes the heart.
She wor ships her superman
Until her knight
Ran like hell.
A thief in the night,
Just out of my reach,
I can't remember
How it really was.
A FLOWER IN MY HAIR
I saw his soul before all else.
In his eyes was. a reflection of myself.
He put a flower in my hair.
S. D. Butler
YOU (REFLECTIONS Oil BEAUTY)
When I look at you many things I see,
Will I evG £ know you, 3weet mystery?
The world has never witnessed such beauty,
So lovely, do I ask too much of thee?
In your eyes I see a sparkling waterfall,
My soul is stirred by its soft gentle call,
A crescent of moon from heaven did fall,
And became the smile that I still recall.
Auburn locks make plain a painted sunset,
A heart of gold on a throne of velvet,
Street captivity, I'm caught in your net,
Upon your head a ruby crown I'd set.
But to gaze upon thy countenance fair,
To run my fingers through your precious
For such pleasures any risk I would dare,
My love for you I forever declare.
Whenever you're near I need play no role.
You've reached into my heart and touched
my soul ,
For so short a season you made me whole,
And thus became my one and only goal.
These simple words that I blend into
To express those things that I feel all
The sound of your voice as clear as a
Is loving you too much truly a crime?
She lied —
A new lover
Our minds, like two lonely hands, intertwined. Broken-hearted
A part of me, long dead, laughed again. They wind up
He put a kiss upon my heart, Where they started,,
T <-iJ*is:i -r
The seasons changed too quickly, a&~ &cxtr.&txin&e> h^pp-ena.
The flower slowly wil.tei:1 and dx&iia
The lon<ily h'-fitfds . r >.li?a."pd their 1 grip.
Michael A. Stillman
IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN SATURDAY AFTERNOON
It might have been Saturday afternoon;
Alone by the brook,
We celebrated the meadow,
Verdant and sparkling,
And smiled at the young clover
Speckled playfully across the green-
I saw a rainbow in the stained-glass sky,
And its colore were mirrored in her eyes.
Then I woke up » |
And placed my foot firmlry on tpe ground,, ••
T thought myself foolish
For having dreamed that I could become involved again
So soon ,
When the wounds in my back had not yet healed.
I went to the window
The street was grey and empty
Must be Sunday again*
TIME FOR HIM TO LEAVE
Time for him to leave.
he eases out,
memory of their ecstatic union
spilling over him.
she rises with
captured within ...
a caterpillar wrapped in its cocoon
he is hers though he is gone.
She wishes he knew
with her possession of
She cannot give her lover too much.
A FRIEND LOST
Today I made her savagely weep
guilty pellets of driving rain
that penetrated my hardened soul
as pain-games were viciously plaj'ed..
Thoughtless minds vehemently fired
lightening bolts of angry distrust
and ever-growing anguish was felt
for what was lost in. bAfcfcl.es waged.
They stood together
Unafraid of danger
They were fighters
Two amongst billions
Love conquered them
Even as the war raged on.
They wanteds love
For each*6tfief J —
Their families, neighbors,
Love for the world
So long as the battle raged.
There is love
Throughout the world
Filled with love and joy,
No hint of fighting.
Their love was
A million yesterdays,
It had to be,
They were all there was,
Only they could
Dream, hope, pray
Wish and love.
Our ammunition, like deadly thunder,
echoed throughout smoldering flames,
slowly suffocatdd by unspoken remorse
shared by each, in separate, space.
Michael A t St i Ileum
THE WOWS BETWEEN
ray mind in
verbal clouds masking
true expression we talk
with no hands the lighthouse of
your eyes lip-reading across the
valley of emotion catch the wind
is a net of knotty tongue bondage tied
by staeeato chips of thought chunk reverb we
translate the tangled webs of sound dialectic
chervil cut logos brisket (rare) and pelting
Celtic skelter from the starry side of
Pluto or a swarm «f shadow in
a primal dream with pneumatic
milksuit crescent mooncrashing
on the frustration of
But she just walked on by
/* rfV ** /> 4\ 4\ #W\
LATE AT NIGHT
Late at night
When the pipes gurgle,
I can't sleep til
I wiggle up next to
If you stir ,
Move an inch,
In the grey morning hours,
I awd-.a to find you
On the edge of the bed.
Ma x ; -htbehind.
When you're gone,
She bed is TOO BIG
And I can't sleep
Between cold sheets.
TWO GLASSES OF WINE
Two glasses of wine
float you out
f;:rvi vhe oKsret places in my mind,
wh •::•,:•» I kttt-.i; you stashed away,
preL-rad.iiig you were never real,
float yoa out
to whisper poetry in my ear,
and I hear,
as though your throat were sm near
my lips could touch the wordo.
Two glasses *f wine
****** * *
Brothers of the Sea
ELEPHANT HEART BEATS
Elephant heart beats,
With the strength of twenty men,
Has he as much l*ve?
I'LL QUIT TOMORROW
Living poetry, Love's libations
Motion defies description, Such sweet sensations
Staggering me with
I've over- imbibed before
But this is a new vintage
So, pop the cork
I'll quit tomorrow.
ALWAYS A CUP BETWEEN US
Always a cup between us —
Tea, coffee, a coke with two straws,
A prophet's blood on tap.
(I become) your fruit jar,
Fermenter of miracles
Where you come to sip
When thirsty or sad.
The chalice of Alice in Wonderland,
Overflowing with little white babies.
A vessel of days half spilled.
A vial of poison
Drawn from a teat.
Always a cup
I AM THE SHIVER OF YOUR SKIN
I am the shiver of your skin
on cool autumn nights,
the frosty puffs of your breath in January
I am the elusive thought
that flits through your mind,
and the faceless specter in your dreams,
I am the grayness of your gloom,
the effervescence of your laughter,
the tedious sameness of your everydays.
I am so much you
I cannot una me
in the blur ,
and though we are sliced apart,
you are the rests between the beatings of my heart,
for our souls have kissed in the twilight,
and neither you nor I
can ever be
DEAR LOW JOE, FROM MARIANNE
If you came back to me, I would:
Welcome you quiet^
Caress you gratefully
Kiss j^ou tenderly
Love you unceasingly,.
Please "don't come -back** ■— - -
**** ** **
I DEAL WITH YOU JUST FINE
I can't stand your type«
The show, the hype.
Just what are you trying to sell?
You've got too msny windows
And too many doors.
I don't want to know you that well,
Wrapped in a blanket of trust,
nothing is too sacred to share. -
Awkward experiments prompt giggling mistakes,
thrilling surprises and hints of submerged
waiting to be freed. passion, I know just what to do,
You call me up in the middle of the night
and make me laugh til I cry»
I laughed until I cried,
Then I just cried,
But I dealt with it just fine.
You make me feel so lit up —
that I want to burst apart,
And you're so tough I'll shudder
Sometimes I'll really shudder
But I deal with it just fine.
Playing it shy is the name of your game —
but you're such an eye catcher
and they love to look your way.
You turn yourself around —
and f ix your eyes on me
You don't: act busy strutting
You just like to let things be.
You tell me that you love me
time after time again
at first I didn't believe you.
I thought it was all so insane.
Now I know it's true -«- we don't play
Soft lips, gentle tongues and curious
explore new textures and emotions.
Arms and legs interlock
as firm, gleaming bodies blend
in the urgent act of new love.
Exhaustion ultimatel}' takes hold
as a new day blooms.
Satisfied lovers enjoy
the deep sleep of youth.
and I know you feel the same.
Maybe you are a little crazy,
and upset me some of the time —
and sometimes you act pretty stupid,
But I deal with you just fine,,
Hugging their respective pillows
out of frustration and pain,
they are blanketed by the perpetual
of self-imposed rejection.
Balancing on the edge for fear of touching, Emotions, curbed by too many nights
they foign sleep with steamy eyes wide of worry and tension,
open. shift into neutral, while spiteful
Heated arguments and dog-day problems di~eams
Boil internally, intrude on an already unsatisfying
forming a barrier of hostile bricks sleep.
With concession made and all else
Bedroom Seasons, continued
contentment reigns in the stability
of years together.,
The experiences of harvest days
flow from feather pillows to attentive
Worn hands touch familiar areas
with confidence and skill.
Satisf aetslon is "taken for granted; • ♦
in gentle lovemaking
under soft blankets of intimacy.
A soothing night's sleep comes easily,
resting confortably next to a loving
Two pillows lay patiently waiting.
Regretfully, only one will be occupied.
Peace is shattered
by unrelenting recollections.
Scrapbook images of devoted sea3onc
intermingle with recent sorrow
that will not be buried
as quickly as the dear one.
Regrets and yearnings
combine to produce warm tears
that slide down cool, withered cheeks.
Blanketed by the constant loneliness
that comes with loss,
there will be no rest
for many nights to come.
In its place, midnight talks
with an old friend, now departed
will fill the icy hours until dawn.
Judy Bel field
SUNDAY WITH SIMILES
It i3 Sunday with similes,
Sunday afternoon with planned jot —
but not very.
Finishing popsicles is deflating —
like floating cold balloons
in air too hot and close.
How fr.r away
It is always like honeybees and buzzing,
or lilacs and perfume,
or breathing and life.
and a clickety sound somes from
somewhere out through the screens
that bring in the day
which isn't real
because a flood of heartbeats
washes the room —
a single tremelo
which has components
that cannot be separated.
Ice-cream Sundays melt down the sides
of tulip-glassed years,
sticky and sweet for-fli.es
. . THIS HEART
I am embarrassed by this heart
Beating about like an ugly dog
Sniffing in so many garbage cans
For a lick of life.
This heart, which is old enough
To be veiled 'in -yellow fat.
This heart, grasping, releasing,
Like the thickish fist of a masterbater,
Too ignorant to know
Its function is purely clinical.
I should like to remove this heart
For a time,
Train it to a trellis of decorum
And enclose it
In a shatterproof casing.
THE OTHER WOMAN
She lives apart from the mainstream
in an inaginary paradise.
A lonely scavenger, •*»•« - - •*** •
circling the fringes of his life,
swooping and darting at the remnants.
A voluntary addict,
living from day to day
on injections of unconfirmed hope.
He lives in a tightly spun web of
ruled by the faceless spider
that governs her paradise.
Desire and frustration are constant
Unanswered questions her only children.
Time is a painful enemy,
filled with mute phones,
and quick alibis.
Unkind words are never spoken,
for fear of losing
what was never really won.
Instead, she endures
and she waits. . «
for loving words and promises,
dangled like forbidden fruit;
for x/arm moments of belonging,
a few minutes, a few hours,
THE FLICK OF A PALE BLUE EYE
I was loaned a new book today
Delighted, I skimmed tl-.rcu.3h the pages at first
Gaining a brief, sketchy knowledge
Of plot, subplot, form and feeling
The style with which the work was rendered was flawless and fascinating
And I longed for an in-depth exploration of this newly discovered
But the owngr of the book reappeared and reclaimed his property without
^^ And wi£h a smile, and the flick of a pale, _ Dale blue eye --^
I heard a new song today
While making my way down the street, I passed a young musician
Wandering his solitary way through a melody
His sax was sweet and mellow
And I warmed to the flowing tune, for it was full of things that I had
long wanted to hear
But as I paused to listen, he felt my wonder
Laid down his song with a smile
And with the flick of a pale, blue eye —
It is a new world that I tread lightly in
Not daring to displace a single blade of grass
For fear the landscape will pack up and leave
Before I can acquaint myself with every hill, every stone
Every subtle shade and color it has to offer
But not yet secure enough within your world to lift the grey veil of
night not quite gone
I'm waiting for the dawn to come
In the form of a brief touch, a smile
The flick of a pale blue eye, or —
Adriane Say lor
I SING ME
********* . » „, , ;
S It • * *
• * ■» v - * " (*? «** '
THE ROMANTIC PEN
Moon comes down on a slide
I sing me like the dew
aching to be rainbows
and not be forgotten
the next day.,
I see turquoise water and
dance all night to voodoo's rhythmic drums
my heart out
to the air of Jaraica
I jump as high as cricket
in his black dancing boots
and come dox-m
with my Black foot
and men tremble in all different shades
of love and say things like:
and aint you scared to be out so late
and I answer with the voice of Kali
and beam on through the night like a quasai'
holding the wheel of the sky under ny feet
tossing planets away like-walnuts
Too :nany hearts and flowers —
Too much mush and gush —
Caught in a repetitious whirl of
moon , June , spoon
They want Socrates —
Who needs more romance?
Review the extant drcr.:as of Euripides
(in verse) —
(Is diversification always this dif-
Be strong —
write Plato ...
(You'll learn to like it.)
But . . .
Here he comes again —
Distraction is very attractive —
Plato is ii- match -^ r mesmerizing eyes.
Wan that Socrates who just fLew out the
THIS MADNESS, TKANSCENDENCE
Days of crazed fingers —
jellyfishing for worms
in the strawberry belly of B&aK
It is all a dream:
the schemers scheme,
this screamers -srrreaift*
and the night has eyes in its lip —
at least a thousand e3'es ,
one for each Arabian twilight,
to to watch the seventh veil fall ,
again and again,
as a soft pall shades the sun,
and billions of limp fingers
fumble with the underpinnings of darkness, protesting their deficient state.
trying to ignore death. The insects had been driven into
Ah, yes — shady hiding places underground or into
Life I crevices of brittle tree bark by the
Days, dazed and hung over, August heat. This was not impor-
after" drunk en skirmishes with half -mad thighs'. tant to him now, for the
confused by impassioned arguments with eternity — insects would not have been
He inched his way through the brush,
his belly scraping the dry, crxisted earth
with every thruet,»of his aching „ limbs..
He was getting weaker and he knew it.
Rolling his smooth, green striped head
from side to side, he looked around at
his new environment. Overhead, the wind
blew its hot breath through the withered
grass and spiky weeds. Water- starved
leaves crackled loudly, as if
pleasing to his palate in his
fatigued condition. The sun's
flames bore down on him through the
trees, every beam causing new pain as it
hit his already over-taxed body.
Crawling forward, too exhausted to
continue, but afraid to rest, he realized
he had to find water very soon in order
to survive. Rising high on his front
legs, he poked his head toward the white,
cloudlsjjL' cky. Standing motionless, he
took deep gulps of the dusty air. The
water was there, he smell ed it. But
where? He had been smelling it- for avery
long time, but had not yet coon
when there is ncthi:r to conquer but oblivion — the all-important signs he had
days drip like melting wax
with nary a scratch or a pin-prick.
How are the days to be settled
on the grand scorecard,
when "day" is only a word,
given like a name
to a child at birth?
How are the days to be justified?
Stars do not try to hide
from the shame of existence,
but stare down time's infinite throat
and bat their flirting eyesS
And why do tne*"(iays* delude themselves
with the idea that they may prevail ,
and beyond that,
HE LEFT ME . . .
A ::_U'c'tc-cho cup — ..'.
owning several chips
Gold- rimmed spectacles —
greening with age
Hi 3 railroad watch —
still amazingly accurate
The delicate fob —
love's braided treasure
His best-friend of a pipe —
ling ^ring aromas_ of Pxi.nce Albert
A faded photograph —
IIi;_;ovJ.f , . .
been searching for. The citizens
of this place were all wrong for the
water land. There were Sparrows and
Grosbeaks, but no evidence of the sleek
Terns or Herons that were a part of his
world. He had heard the gentle "ribbit"
of Treefrogs, but not the low, melodic
croaking of the once- familiar Bullfrog
to tell him that water was near. He
scoured the air for anythirg that would
give him hope. There was nothing. He
had to keep going, to ignore the pain
covering him like a warm blanket, there
was no choice. To stay where he was
would mean sure death. He must keep
moving . . .
He plodded along slowly, methodically
never cursing the heavy shell he carried.
The mosaic-like casing was his only pro- .
tection from his enemies. Birds and
raccoons found it a futile task to try to
make a meal of him wh^j he pulled into
his capsuloo It was his protect! -a, but
it was also the very thing that was caus-
ing him to weaken. His armor represented
the bulk of his weight, and out of the
water he so desperately needed, he was
clumsy and sluggish.
He tried to remember how long he had
been traveling, and why he had ever left
that cool, shady place he called hone.
He gauged that the sun had coursed its
ua , r across the sky at least five tines,
Going Hone, continued
but he really wasn't cure. The days and
nights had all nelted together in his
weariness. The memory of why he had left
the river, the place where he had spent
all of his long life, was hard to focus on.
His mate and his children, they were at the
river; weren't they?
His tiny brain strove ' to piece the
puzzle together. He' remembered the noise
the night he \efju , T^r^^e, aJLwayoV* J
noises on the river, that wasn't unusual in
itselfo The noises came from the floating
things that carried the soft humans over
the water as they tried to trap the Catfish
and the Bluegill that were his friends.;
They always heard it coming, and getting
out of the way had never presented any prob-
lem for most of the river creatures. But
that night was different, there was no
warning. That floating thing had come si-
lently down the river, blending \rlth the
rippling water. His family had swum inno-
cently through the night, feeding and play-
ing in the gentle current as he watched
from his moist, sandy bed at the river's
edge. The memory became vivi", as a pic-
ture formed in his mind. The water had
churned up suddenly, trapping them in its
wake. He could do nothing but watch in
silent horror as his family was tern apart
by the twirling blades, their shells crack-
ing like the eggs they had all once been.
He lumbered up the embankment, heading
away from the river. That place was safe
no longer. It was all so long ago; days
ago, a lifetime ago ...
He blinked hie turtle eyes, the irises
narrowing a3 he watched f®i» signs ©f^water^,*
for signs of anything familiar to his
natural instincts. He dug in with his
clawc, pulling and pushing his stubby legs
to move ever forward. Uphill, downhill,
but forever forward to the cool safety of
a silken pond, a swift stream, a stagnant
pool, anything but this hideaous, dry void.
There began a strangeness; something
he couldn't understand. Suddenly he saw
that he was no longer able to dig into the
ground with hie claws... The. _dry. earth had
turned into come sort of black stone.
The heat coming off this foreign mater-
ial was almost unbearable. It seemed
to cut into the bottom of his oholi as
easily as the sharp prongs, carried by
humans, had entered the tender flesh of
the river frogs. He could hear the
noises again, like the river noises,
only this time he couldn't move fast
enough €o avd'id them. The noises came
from every d££ectxon'r" They were" not
like the floating things of the river.
These moved much swif ter and di I not
skim the black material, but ran firmly
on it. He pulled tightly into his shell,
eyes clamped shut, knowing that one of
the moving things would soon end his
struggle. He would die here, it had
become an inevitable action. He almost
welcomed the thought. He had been wrong;
there was no water, death was his only
The sun turned orange in the after-
noon sky as the heat shimmered up from
the roasting surface. He hadn't moved
for a very long time, the noises becoming
so commonplace that he didn't consciously
hear them. His mind had left this hos-
tile setting and taken him back to the
river , where in the cool evening he
swan with his family once more, floating
in the peacefulness of the smooth current.
Listening to the frogs sing their hoarse
symphonies, he dived for the spindly
water bugs and larvae. Crawling up on
the rotted log that was his home, he
pushed his back feet out, spreading his
webbed £pes yks. a; Japanese, fan,, and. en-. . ,..
joy.ud the setting sun as it sparkled
across the opaque liquid. Ac large, ir-
ridescent dragonfliec droned softly over-
head, he watched a plump, green leaf
glide slowly through the air, landing
quietly on the gentle water. The rustling
of the reeds , as they bent in the humid
breeze lulled him into a soothing sleep.
The smelly tires brushed up against
the curled edge of his parched shell,
while licking tongues of heat penetrated
inside to the soft tissues; but he was
content with his situation. He had gone
» 7* #w\ /v r* *\
Brothers of the Sea
Together , all ,
The whole family.
Grandpa and grandma nust be looking
Down from above.
Today they will see the best.
My cousin, the dope peddler, isn't here.
I've got relatives who have been in jail,
But, today that doesn't count.
Because this day,
Everybody's looking proud, proud*
We've got to do thi rr
GOLDEN SHAFTS OF LIGHT
Golden shafts of light,
Rending clouds and tearing trees ,
Talons of the sun.
RIVER OF RHYTHM
River of rhythm,
Melody of butterflies,
Nature ' a symphony .
Sail the breezes
Through the window screen.
They wander, piecemeal ,
heckling my ears.
A garage party rove up
Down the, Ijlock.
"Top Ten" notes crowing in.
There is laughter next door,
Whole rhythms to absorb.
I've lived in silence
Concentrating on work too long,
My rebirth must be taken
In measured paces.
GIVE ME A CLONE
Oh give me a clone
Of my own flesh and* bone *•«*• *
with its y chromosome changed to x«
And when it's full grown
my own little clone
will be of the opposite sex.
Clone, Clone of my own,
with its y chromosome changed to x
And when I'm alone
xTith my own little clone
We'll both think of nothing but sex.
HE DIDN'T REALLY LOOK HURT
Be didn't really look hurt,
He looked as if
Some playful body
Had sprinkled drops of raspberry nail
On his dark forehead.
The wound puckered open, slowly.
Harsh red blood slid down his face,
And streamed off his cheeks
Into droplets on the pavement.
The fat cop growled,
"Put him* in the wagon. n
They bundled him in — wet laundry.
His head bounced off of the floor.
The cops hopped in and veered away,
Ripe raspberry changed to
Bust on the sidewalk.
HE APPROACHED SLOWLY
He approached slowly,
polish His course of action
Undo tor* :ine d .
A shot rang out.
Swiftly he dodged
Right, then left.
Instantly reassessing the situation,
He dashed for the door,
As if her were a battering ram.
Inside, he looked.
Thoro was nothing.
There was something ...
Drawn blue blinds
Invite notions of
Pale blue blinds,
No sun's warmth in those rooms,
A paired sultriness perhaps?
Imperturbable blue blinds
A sensuous signal
To a mysterious lover?
Promise of an af .ternooxL-rendevous-7
** ** * ***
Her derisive laughter doesn't endear her
"Girrrrrl," she drawls out, condescend-
Snapping her gum sharply in a two-time
Thin silver bracelets clatter raucously
With her constant gestures.
Avon rings on every finger.
She likes to "party hearty."
She pretends the men didn't intersect heir J
When she leaves for home, alone
•Ta._s.tudy her reflection in the mirror.
Judy Bel field
SITTING IN THE MARBLE- WALLED CHURCH
Sitting in the marble-walled church,
high, chocolate-colored pillars veined with black .
. gold-leaf glimmering in paintingo on the dome
over the tall, triple- "tisrod altar,
nichec tucked behind intricately- carved Romanesque arches —
• •*-*» «0 * lacy, rococco^recesses . .... ._._ . ... ., :.".~
which house the statues of sweet-faced saints
.,, t and Jesus Chrict —
St. Agnes in pink robes,
a lamb in the crook of her arm,
bearded St. Joseph holding a lily-laden staff —
the gold tabernacle twinkling
as the sunlight plays through stained-glass windows ..
and dances softly along the communion rail.,
The church is empty
and too silent,
but I hear children singing in the choir loft,
a yesterday echo of a solemn "Dies Irae" —
and giggles skittering through their numbers
as a new widow weeps below ...
incongruent sounds of life and death
touching each other here in the waiting room of heaven,
from which all will go their separate ways,
who shall everafter 3leep in the arms of eternity.
There is a fragrance in this church
which isn't incense,
but a concoction of memories thrown together —
masses, living rosaries, stations of the cross, confessions.
The odor is in the x/alls
and in me„
It can never be washed out
■-'" * like the -linsr.s - — - - if- - -...- - — -•-: -
or the God who lived here once upon a time.
In refuge from the imprisonment of aluminum A satin-blue dragonfly in its fluctuating
siding and the incessant clamor of contempo- and leisurely glide, hovers near my
rary television, I escape the confines of proximity, teasingly, but never too near,
civilized existence — conditioned neuroti- The airy yet proficient flight of the
ciam and monotony — for a taste of the un- dragonfly,
tamed and unrefined, to quench an almost in-
satiable hunger for gothic honey. Red ground-squirrels bolt helter-skelter
for the safety of the uhderbruch as their
In anxious anticipation this September after-acute sense of hearing alerts them of
noon, I traverse the rustic woodlands I have forthcoming peril,
explored vigorously and revered time and
again, clothed in flannel and azure corduroy. In the distance, a watchful rabbit with
gray- tinged fur, nostrils twitching fe-
The rustling of crisp leaves neath my ragged verishly, gnaws at the vegetation raven-
suede boots mingles with the chorus of the ously. The instant my precence is de-
crickets' chirrup and the trill of unseen tected, he bounds frantically toward the
birds. Though of countless variety and foliage, revealing an ivory-stained under-
number, each possesses his own distinct side with every swift vault. In moments
voice and vivid coloration. he has vanished in the thicket.
Amidst this melodic timberland symphony, I Atop the summit of two golden sunflowers
am allowed to witness an elegant monarch sticky threads are carefully draped,
butterfly fluttering gaily among the foliage a banana spider's artistic web. They
and after much deliberation, settling con - strike one as being c j joined by his meshy
tentedly upon n leaf that . dances- gracefully net.
in the breeze.
Gothic Honey, continued
The oun blares loudly in the warmth of In-
dian summer and I am gratefully refreshed
by the wind's cool breath.
Huge dark stalks of linb and bark bend to
greet ne cordially, occassionally permit-
ting a gust of wind to shower me with a
colorful array of leaves. Within the
►•-lofty p*ln> of forked limbs is a robin's
nest, grasped snugly and protectively.
These trees, sublime and adorned, seem al-
How quickly the sun sank from sight. Ob-
livious to its absence, I anticipate noc-
turnal beings preparing to. emerge. The
brilliant crescent resting in the heavens
begins its frosty luminosity.
Once olive-green foliage, now shades darker
and richer, as if shadows themselves. Sun-
flowers at dusk now candescent, glowing in
the blackness; yellow flames flickering in
The wind respires calmer now, exhausted
after a gusty day.
The moonglcw brightens, a frosty hue, as if
Diurnal birds hasten to find a secure roost
for the duration of ebony skies, some lull-
ing themselves into slumber with their own
Fireflies become ephemeral candles in
the twilight's pitch black.
Newly polished stars slowly begin vibrant
glistening in their own rhythm and synco-
pation, yet silently so.
Gentle, yet distinctly audible tapping
upon the trees, assures ^me^a woodpecker
has not yet laid his work aside. Curio-
sity oven/helms me. Why am I not per-
mitted a glimpse of this camouflaged
laborer? Or perhaps it is only the
flapping of wings, a straggler who has
not yet located a comfortable or proper
temple in which to savor his hours of
tranquility, gliding from tree to tree.
I could easily remain youthful within
nature's serene antiquity.
I am tempted so, to linger her infinitely,
I would never weep for human companion-
ship. God has blessed this woodland
with numerous creatures I may love and
seek out in dawn's dim light or dusk's
fading paleness. Countless new endeavors
and curiousities to satisfy.
Loneliness perished the moment I pene-
trated this feral kingdoa.
I have at long last become one with
I've always been a moving man,
Traveled down all sorts of roads,
Gazed upon nature's scenery from coast to coast.
I've taken trails up into the mountains,
And down into the deep lush valleys.
Towns and cities I've traveled by the score.
I've been where they are big and small,
Reveled at the peacefulness of deserted streets
In New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston,
San Francisco, Denver, Honolulu, Detroit, and
My mind was overjoyed at streets filled to capacity
In towns like Prairie View, Quitman, Valdosta,
Mouonco, Madison, Aspen, Fort Valley, Tallahassee,
I swam in the intimidating waters of the Atlantic
And the Pacific.
I saw the Golden Arch in St. Louis,
Though it didn't seem like no gateway to me.
R. Walser Yale
TODAY TRACTION DIED
Today it snowed
And like Snow White,
And was preserved
In a glassy coffin.
The entire city,
Cars shrouded in white,
Turned out for her
A mournful ■ sloth
And though we thought hln
For Prince Charming' s
I've seen the bright sun rise
Over the nighty, longleaf southern pine
And descend behind the great western sequoia.
My eye3 have feasted upon Through it all, I
The abundant grainfields of the PLains-S-tates.^
And rested upon waves and waves feeor^j^jiighlL-air;
Of white cottonf ields. of the South.
My skin has felt the desert heat
And much too much of the" North's ch.i Fl-
still remember the
Buzzing mowers leave a slippery trail of damp pungent grass.
Mothers call through back doors to wily curious toddlers.
White ice cream carts compete with shrilling chimes.
Black-bellied grills exhume hot cpicey BBQ.
Bare feet find stray flower petals.
Crickets hide in the basement.
Wet paint snares bugs.
Summer senses awaken
OUT TO LUNCH
Aint the sun gonna ever shine?
It took the big vacation.
Maybe it went to Florida
And is never coming back.
Not that HE'S my sunshine
Or anything so bourgeois.
Oh I I'm off on tangents.
I'm on speed.
(I'm in Econ 103)
Supply and Demand.
I Denan 1 construction workers
Outside this window
But the Supply i° low
Because it's raining^
BITCH OF A SUN
Majestic moon, how well I know your many
facas, though with each nightfall your
How many times have I gazed at you blankly
or with wild-eyed animosity?
I feel your expressionless eyes upon me to-
night, but you seem not to acknowledge my
presence. You sit back in sublime repose
and behold as I dream of distant shperes or
stumble unsucessfully over broken and mist-
paths of my inner self.
You do not reaccurc nor coddle me as a
deluge of bitter tears stream down my con-
How many times have. I. a tared up at you,
In the manner of a maharani
She dismisses the raw moon
Like a small catch returned to sea.
Her day she bakes cracker-dry,
Searing the huddled sheaves
As casually as she lights her candelabra
In whimsey she splits the earth
Beneath her dancing toe.
At lakes, who hope to
Hold her fleeting face,
IT'S YELLOW TIME
Let the Monarch migration begin.
Bring out the school busses,
The Ticondaroga pencils,
It's yellow time.
The days of mums and marigolds and
The nights of ripe melon moons.
Time to set the golden flame
Back under the furnace.
We're in for yellow apples
And acorn squash
And festivals of yellow beer.
The days of rain slickers are upon us.
See the sulfur in the black cat's eyes.
This is the season of saffron ...
It's yellow time.
longing for advice on trivial cocial af-
fairs, hoping all the while you would
annihilate the fruitless tree of society?
Why have you concealed your face behind
clouds? Are you weary of my tirade.?
Should I also blot you out as I would a
Shall I walk away with your laughter
pounding against my back, echoing out
into an ocean of blackness? Or shall
I acquire your attention by tossing
stones angrily at you? Or damn your
cursed supremacy? Would you have i 10
humble myself before you as if you were
a god? Would you then answer?
Speak, you arrogant hoard of insensitivity,
or is your supreme, wisdom a caricature? A
Yet, how presuptuous I am to feel you owe
consideration of any sort to such an addled
dolt. It is I who lack compassion* A
spineless drudge seeking liberty from one
who is not free to. give it.
How tiresome your burden must be, to
shower an entire world with radiance.
Perhaps then, you have spoken, I juat
have not heard.
Or perhaps in your reticence you have
shown that the moon is indeed light,
but only that so I may see the path that
I alone must travel to resolve inner
conflicts and possibly stumble upon,.a
soul unattached to this insignificant
dungeon of flesh.
THE SUN DIPS SLOWLY
The sun dips slowly
A scoop of orange sherbet
Melting into night.
** /* *t 4\4\4% *v *»
Brothers of the Sea
MOONLIGHT PAINTED CLOUD
Moonlight painted cloud,
Emporer of the Evening,
Mountain of the Sky.
R. Walser Yale
UP FROM COFFEEN
Chicago is a massive hand with five
skinny fingers that caress her state. Her
thumb (1-94) thumps straight north to the
Wisconsin border, her index finger (1-90)
stretches steadily west, then bends north-
ward to scratch Beloit into Wisconsin.
She playfully give the finger (1-80) to
Davenport, Iowa. Her ring finger (1-55)
tickles St. Louis and her little finger
(1-57) dips into the Missouri and Kentucky
rivers that make up the lush southern bor-
ders of the long land that is Illinois,
In between the ring finger and the
little finger, about a hundred miles north-
east of St. Louie and nearly drowned in
a network os supposedly dustless roads,
there is a town called Coffeen. Coffeen,
Illinois. Montgomery County.
Unlike most of the 600 or so inhabi-
tants of Coffeen, Steven D arrow was awake
at 2:30 a.m. He had worked that Saturday
night at Coffeen' s Mode Theater, a place
Steven laughingly called "the most culture
these parts never seen," using that exag-
gerated twang and dumb southerner dialect
to replace his own soft Illinoisan tones.
"A moment's levity beats a cavity, "he
would say amidst a barrage of high-pitched
The Mode showed midnight movies on
Saturday, and Steven would be there at the
door, greeting friends, tearing tickets,
or cleaning up the entrance of smashed
popcorn. This particular Saturday night/
Sunday morning, Steven was hurrying his
post-movie clean-up duties so he could hit
the road to Assumption, 45 miles north of
"Where you headin' to, Steven," asked
the candy counter girl.
"Cousins in Assumption. Having a big
all-w«ekend party,, and I figure that by
Sunday they'll be all tired, so I'm
goin' up to . . ."
"Liven up the party, huh, Steven?"
"Sure am," he said and slid into
a long "hee-hee" giggle.
When the theater closed, Steven
climbed into his pick-up, and instinct-
ively made his wdy to the dustless roads
that would take him north to Illinois 16,
which would lead him to Pana and U. S. 51,
which would take him straight into Assump-
tion, his cousin's house, a warm bed,
and hot breakfast with beer when he woke.
Highway 16 is a two- lane road, most-
ly frequented by farmers and their sons —
but by nobody by the hour that Steven
was using it. Steven, in the slightly
beat Ford, cruised up 16 northeast to
Pana. It seemed to him that he'd been
on the road a long time, but he'd just
"Shit," he said. "Shit, shit, shit.' :
Again he started into an extended
hee-hee laugh that bordered on hysteria.
He reached for the mike of his CB;
the one his father installed as a sur-
prise for his graduation. He hoped for
a traveller or truck driver to be within
his range. If he talked, he might be
able to fight off his sleepiness.
"Break, one-nine, this is Weavin'
Steven; anybody got some thin' they wanna
get of fa their chest? Hee, hee, heei"
He'd been awake for hours longer
than usual and he was tired, giddy, and
"Break, one-nine, this is Weavin'
Steven, testing, testing, testing. This
1 C Weavin 1 Steven, you tell me your name,
then we'll be even — Steven." No answer,
Up from Coffeen, continued
but more uncontrollabe laughter.
Unable to contact anybody, he started
to whistle, look at his teeth in the mir-
ror, and preen his hair. He listened to
the far-off sounds and voices drifting in
and out of his radio — thinking how much
they sounded like people he knew. Neigh-
bors , friends , family.
"Shit," he said again.
- Just* thfell a particularly loud voice »
crackled into the cab of his truck. "Watch
out now. Ha, ha, you gotta watch for them
types of women, ha, ha."
"Some redneck," Steven thought, "but
better than talking to myself." He reach-
ed for the mike, fumbled, dropped it out
of reach, into the darkness before the
He casually leaned over, mumbing -ob-
scenities , and reached down groping for
the mike with his right hand, left hand on
The truck swerved gently to the right,
"went off of the narrow highway, careened
into a ditch, and slammed into an embank-
ment of earth.
-— - Steven awoke to stabbing pains in his
"chest. Blood had pooled in his mouth, was
running out of his nose in a slow, sticky
stream. He retched, and the bl-^d splashed
onto the floor of the truck.
"Shit," he thought.
He looked about the cab, trying not to
move his torso to avoid the excruciating
pain he know he would fool. He was cradled
inside the steering wheel, a twisted egg-
shaped piece* of metal and plastic.
The windshield in front of him had a
large web-like pattern of splinters. In
its center sat a large, hairy red spider,
which upon closer examination, Steven
realized was a piece of his scalp. Outside
the window, he could see the hood of his
"truck pushed up, back, smashed in wild sur-
prise. Steam still billowed from beneath
His radio crackled in the darkness.
It had survived the accident. Steven
rolled his eyes toward the static and
noise of the radio.
He watched it for a minute, grew
tired, and decided to sleep. "Oh, Lord,"
he mumbled, "I gotta get outta this
ditch ... ju3t put 'er in gear here . .
. get off the brake ... fill 'er up . . „
go. Gotta go . . . party . . . party . .
.. Am I, be these?"
He started to laugh, but the pain that
filled his rib cage, cilenced him immediate-
ly. Tears foxxied in hie eyes. Slowly,
laboriously, he lifted his right arm, win-
cing, choking grunts of pain. He felt his
liead. There was a large, hairless cut on
the top of his head, a bump that strangely
he couldn't feel.
His arm fell to the seat and he reach-
ed for the mike to the radio that was, yet
again, corains to life. Thi a tine somebody
"Hey there, now, hey there ..."
Sounded like some truck driver *&aia
"Can't quite make it, can you?" the
Steven's arm fell short of the mike
by more than a foot. He brought his arm
back to his side.
The voice broke in again, much clear-
er now: "Yeah, well, relax, buddy ...
you aint.got much further ^to. go,_ha, ha."
For Steven, the conversation was
relaxing, even if he could have no part
in it. The pain wasn't bad if he didn't
move, and if he slept a bit, somebody 'd
find him. When he closed his eyes, slow
patterns of color would move before him.
They had strange voices — like country
"Where ya headin' anyway, boy?" the
voice continued. "You stoppin' in Pana?
Nice place to visit, wouldn't wanna live
"Nope, not me ... I don't like
Pana « • » prefer a little nicer place .
o ." the voice announced.
Steven thought that, perhaps, the
truck driver talked too much — but he
was glad he did. Those colors, though —
the way they looked, "Shit, if I could
take one with me. Pain? What pain?
"Can't stop once you'v^ started
something ... y ou started, now, haven't
ya? I tell you, man, i know a nice
place you can go ... if you believe in
"Once when I was young ..." Steven
was quietly speaking to hwaself ,- and the
colorful voice, "we ... me and my mo-
ther and father ... sisters, we'd sit,
talk all day on picnic — or we'd play „
He sat for a moment , the entire cab
quiet. No radio, no conversation.
Thoughts meandered around in his head and
were voiced, incomplete.
"And if you look real hard," he con-
tinued, "you can see them fish ... kind;
like the color ... those reds, blues .
. o turning, uh, white, I guess." A
sharp pain silenced him again.
The truck driver interrupted Steven' c
monologue: "Nice place ... past Pana,
up U, s. 51. Sure, good food, whole
Steven was silent, intently listen-
ing to the voice. It was talking to
him: "Boy, it hurts, don't it?" A
tear ran down Steven's cheek. The voice
continued: "You shouldn't oughta x/orry
'bout a thing, boy; life goes on, and on
and on, ha! ha!
You, uh, just can't stop living
over something like that. Nope — can't
stop living at all." The voice was
soothing to Steven's ear: i flowing,
changing rhythm patterns, gentle beat.
Sounds muffled, pushed, teased tc words..
Steven's eyes opened for the last
time. He listened for a moment to the
Up From Coffeen, continued
voice, to get it straight. "You mean?"
he said, "they're gonna find ne, here — "
The voice interrupted,, "If you don't
believe it — you will, if you d^n't . . „
you won' t Got it, boy — O.K. , go you
juct ride up 51, that's right . . . "
Steven ignored the end of the voices,
hie mind tired, and resigned himself to a
simple, "No „ . . uh, yes, yes, "then
closed his eyes.
In between the ring finger and the
little finger, about a hundred miles
northeast of St c Lcuis U P from Coffeen,
past Pana, there is a tovm called
Assumption. Assumption, Illinois.
ALCOHOL AND I ^01V2 MIX
I'll ding my midnight blues again
I'll sing 'til the darkness turns to dayl
Sing aloag , sing along
Hear my drunken fight.
I'll sing about the pretty lies I tell
and about a friend of mine.
Try and take me as I am —
accept my piece of mind.
I need to talk of my troubles.
I ruined another opportunity for love,
but he seemed to box my spirits.
Why can't I feel love?
TIME TO LOVE
See, I couldn't stand him socially.
My act could only go so far.
My show was fading quickly.
He found me in the bar.
My icy breath. cut him like a razor.
The drinks put me in a crazy frame of
I wailed on that poor boy hard . „ .
That's something in me I wish he didn't
Now I'm lonely, bored and sad.
I've lost the best boy I've ever had.
His music still flows inside my mind.
Poison alcohol makes me bad.
The round table was covered with a blue-
checkered tablecloth and set with the
familiar "Blue Willow" patterned dishes.
The winter sun peeked through the small*-
paned windows and filtered through the
cris:.), white curtains. A hint of spring,
with its long, green tentacles of ivy, was
hanging in macrame.
Ellen hummed a familiar tune as she
filled the juice glasses with orange li-
quid. The smell of bacon frying drifted
up the back stairway to greet Dan as he
"Breakfast in ten minutes," Ellen
shouted from the bottom of the stairs.
Seldom a day passed that Ellen was not
grateful for the convenient back stair
that jutted into the big kitchen. The old
house was so big that many extra steps were
required to use the main -stairway in the
Dan mumbled a loud, "OK, honey," and
was off to the shower. Thank goodness it
was Saturday, he thought, as he felt the
hot water run over his sleepy body. It
was hard to get out of the shower — it
felt so good. After finally forcing Ma-
self from under the warm, wet massage, he
switched the spray to cold. The shock
made his skin tingle. He \^aa refreshed.
After pulling on his jeans and gray swaat-
shirt^-be trotted ^doifflu-txv-tha-JcLt chenu
BREAD AND BUTTERFLIES
Floating on the air as a
ship in the sea
Magic rainbow come land
land by me
and live in my hand
of the brave and free.
Or, be picked from the Windshield
of an imported German car.
white tie and tails.
And stepped on by the souls of
pat.p.nt leathers, that talk- with a squeak.
Breakfast was almost ready as Ellen
poured steaming coffee into the cups.
The toast popped up with perfect timing
For Ellen and Dan„ everything Was good
this morning — it had been good last
night, and all was right in their sunny,
snow-covered world. They chatted and
laughed over breakfast. The lovely
, of— the^niglrt -before was replaced
Time For Love, continued
by genuine comradeship. Not only did they
love each other deeply, but they liked
each other too* Their life was fun to-
Dan felt a smile cross his face as
he gazed at Ellen. He loved looking at
her. Her face was interesting — he
thought she was beautiful. Her bright eyes
and quick wit displayed a keen intelli-
gence. The sun "haloed" her sandy-colored
hair, making it glow with 3treak3 of gold.
They ate cold cereal for breakfast on
week days -- it saved time "and prevented
•jYoriiv'u'.gia^ in the cholesterol of eggs,
Ellen was determined to take very good
care of Dan! Between the two f them,
they lugged the groceries home.
After storing the food in the pro-
per places, the headed for the campus
library. The enow made a crisp sound
underfoot, and the sun shone on it ^"fla-
king blue shadows. They walked hand in
They planned their day excitedly: they hand, each feeling the warmth of the
would shop for a few groceries, take a walk
and visit the library Dan was researching
a project for his college students while
Ellen was looking for something entertain-
ing to read. She had only been out of
college a year end was teaching the sixth
other's hand through their woolen gloves.
Familiarity had not yet diminished the
thrill of even the slightest touch.
There were sounds of children playing
and running through the fluffy snow.
Sleds skidding past them frightened the
grade. She loved her work, but needed some- winter birds from the pine trees. The
thing far removed from school for the times
when Dan had his nose in a book.
Dan was seven years older than Ellen's
twenty-five. He had finished his college
days with a master's degree in cheuistr-y,
working as a graduate assistant. That job
led into the fine position he had now --
teaching chemistry at the University. The
couple had been married only a few months
and had not fallen into the schedules of
"There is plenty of time for that
later," decided Dan, and Ellen agreed.
The big, old house they had bought
was Ellen's idea. She had fallen in love
with the large, sunny kitchen, the huge,
stone fireplace in the living room, and
the four bedrooms upstairs that ached to
be filled with children. A family was def-
initely in their plans, but they were in
no hurry — maybe next year.
"Well, are you ready, Sweetie?" Dan
chided as he rumpled her hair. He volun-
teered to clear the table while she went
to get dressed. Ellen climbed the stairs
to the second floor. She closed the bed-
room door and slipped out of Dan's pa jama
shirt that she had worn to bed. The full-
length mirror revealed a nicely rounded,
She was grateful
for the fact that whatever she had, seemed
to please Den.
"You're just what I need," he would
say when he came home from a less-thr.n-
perfect day. He'd grab her gently, make
her feel very much a woman and very much
what he needed. She loved it! As Ellen
pulled on her black turtleneck, she thought
how they would miss their sudden and
c^ontancouc love-making after the children
came. She put on a pair of faded jeans
and suede boots, ran a brush through her
tousled lock3, and romped down the back
Dan grinned as he watched his bride
slip into her ski jacket and neck scarf.
Off they went to the market down the
street. Their grocery li3t consisted of
milk, fresh fruit (oranges for Ellen and
bananas for Dan) canned 3oup, and cereal.
wind was getting stronger, and dark
clouds were moving in. "Looks like
more snow," mused Dan. "Those clouds
are full of it!"
Ellen replied, "I hope we get back
home before a storm hits. I don't relish
walking home in a blizzard."
"I think a blizzard might be nice,"
Dan kidded with a wink. "We could spend
all day tomorrow in front of the fire.
It would be cozy and nice — just you
and me." His eyebrows raised with
thoughts of untold pleasures.
The library was nearly empty. Stu-
dents, who normally were there, were
anxious about the black clouds and had
gone back to their dorms early. Dan men-
tioned the scant attendance to the li-
brarian who relayed the radio's message
of a winter storm warning. Dan decided
to take the books home rather than stay-
ing and possibly getting caught in a
storm. Ellen browsed the fiction area
and found a great novel that she had
always wanted to They noticed
the snow starting to fall outside the
large glass windows of the library and
left for home.
The sky had grown dark now, street
lights flickered on and off, and the
early afternoon sunshine had turned to
cold and wind. The blowing snow stung
their faces. The damp coldness bit
through their jeans. Ellen shivered.
The hurried trip home was more
solitary than the one going had been.
The children had been called inside by
anxious mothers. The birds were roost-
ing in the protection of the pine trees.
Only those still on their way home were
braving the threatening weather. As the
snow and wind became stronger, the cars
moved slowly, cautiously, through the
streets. Ellen pulled her neck scarf
up around her ears and turned her collar
"You warm enough?" Dan asked.
"I'm fine," Ellen lied, as she won-
dered what he intended to do about it
if she weren't. The books Dan carried
( continued )
rime For Love, continued
in one am were burdensome, but he nonaged
tc ".keep the other one around hie wife as
the snow drifted quickly across the side-
walk* In all honesty, Dan would be glad
to get home.
Lights were blinking on in the houses
as they passed. At last, their refuge
was in sight, offering warnth and safety.
By the time they reached the front door,
the barren trees were dark against the
fast-moving clouds. The black branches
bowed and swayed frantically in the wind.
Snow was piling high in drifts.
Dan unlocked the door to let Ellen in-
side first. The warmth cane rushing out at
them, and they quickly bolted the door shut.
"I'll start a fire," offered Dan, laying his
hooks on the hall table.
"I think we need some cocoa," Ellen
added, "and perhaps an English muffin."
Soon a fire was crackling in the big
fireplace and both Dan and ElLen had
changed to warm, dry .clothes and heavy
socks. The hot chocolate warned them
down deep inside. They were snuggled
on the couch under a blanket, oblivion;;
to the now raging snowstorm. Even the
books were forgotten. They shared the
happy, quiet time in complete harmony.
Each sensed the other's contentment.
Ellen was curled up with Dan's arms
around her. He reached down and lifted
her smiling face to his. He kissed her
forehead gently, then pressed his lips
firmly, tenderly, to hers. After a long
moment, Dan \7i1j. r u-o ■ -quietly, "Maybe
if we're lucky, the blizzard v/ill last
a couple of days."
"Sounds wonderful," agreed Ellen.
"You know," she added, "I've had a fan-
Dan nodded in agreement. Who could
ask for more, he wondered. What a won-
derful time to love!
TU- ROSES, CHEAP
The fragrance of fresh-
ly blossomed f lowers , and the
afternoon sun shedding its
radiant shower of warmth upon
my balding head, encouraged
me to ignore the regulations
I agreed to enforce as a patron
of ilcturcsi 1 .e Nursing Home, and formulate
an adventure through the woodlands as I
once did as a youngster.
I found it fairly elemental to elude
the attention of the nurses by pretending
tc be insane as my roommate was.
Nice fellow, he was, even though he
found it difficult to control the excess
of his ccllvary glands.
I recall one specific instance parti-
cularly. Our favorite nurse, as we often
People seldom plant flowers in the projects.
Identities are buried in the hard-packed, dusty soil,
Green newcomers, want to "spruce things up" at first,
And wilting, forgetful senior citizens,
On trembly knees,
Scrape the earth to center a tulip or two.
Then thorny little boys run —
Snatch 'em up —
And skip door to door ,
Selling "roses" for a dollar.
•frk irk &ki r k
My oh my, my mind wanders so. I
have strayed from the subject once again,
Now, where was i? Oh yes, I ad-
vanced toward the pathway and proceeded
down the trail that was to be observed
only by those considered to be competent
and independent. The only restriction I
had from these categories was the wheel
chair that old age had blessed ne with.
Unfortunately for myself, the pre-
called her, came into our room; she was very cipitation from a few nights before had
shapely and just beyond puberty, I would
presume. Well , 3he attempted to remove the
remnants of his lunch from his mouth as he
went into a seizure.
I do believe we had spaghetti that
Getting back to my original subject, I
succeeded to get by the nurses simply be-
cause I blended into the surroundings. I
then advanced toward a 'narrow path leading
away from the picnic grove.
We had a friendly picnic that after-
noon to socialize with incoming natients.
I was successful in winning. .throe times- at
accumulated in puddles of mud which ad-
hered to the wheel 3 of my chair, and
eventually reached the portion of the
wheel my hand grasped in order to gain
momentum. However, at the time, soiled
hands was a very small bk struct ion. My
only concern was to enjoy my surrounding
A few moments later, as I was re-
uiovirvj the dark soil from my hands on
to my double-knit dry-clean-only pants,
I became aware of all the beauty I was
surrounded by. I saw so many trees. I
used to be able to name most of them, bo
naturally I was upset when I recognizee
only the maples, oaks, and pines. The
( continued )
Climbing Stares, continued
sun's beano gently streamed through open-
ings in the tall trees reflecting off the
backs of squirrels fleeing fron the sounds
of twigs splitting under the wheels of ny
chair . ...
Just then, I heard the rippling sounds
of water and was inmediately overcome with
a childish obsession to wade my feet
-through the. water. I decided to follow
the sounds of what I imagined woul " be a
Finally, I had reached the closest
possible point to the creek. My childish
obsession had now brought me to a very
tall wired fence. By this time, I was so
extremely tired and dismayed, I had decided
to simply sit there and fantasize of when
I was younger. The expectation of seeing
my feet soaking in the white tumbling wa-
ter, even though it would' ve been impossible
to feel water on my paralyzed legs , was 30
great that tears began to flow freely down
As I looked up, I suppose seeking pity
fron the animals of the forest, I saw many
birds. But they weren't crying for me.
They were looking at me and laughing.
They were all talking about me and say-
ing I was insane. They just atared and
laughed, just like the young children
that couldn't stop staring at me when
the nursing hone took us to the state
„ It .took the nurses approximately
three hours to find me. They didn't
seen to be very impressed with the total
A week later, the director of
psychology decided it would be better for
me to live with family. He said I was
becoming influential towards many pa-
tients, and caused inconveniences.
And that, ny boy, is why I have
cone to live with you and your masters.
Cone closer. Good boy.
Okay, now, give me your paw. Good
dog. Good, beautiful dog.
Now, ny friend, do you have any
other questions? Yes, you just go to
sleep now. You just lying there r emi nds
me of a certain time when ...
A A 'X "A*****
As the day turned to early evening,
the smell of chicken lingered throughout
the one-story suburban home. Alice had
just finished setting the table when Joe,
her husband, walked in.
"Hi dear," was how Alice greeted Joe.
"How are you?" Joe asked.
In a dragging voice, Alice said, "All
right. How was your ..."
Wharai The door slammed and Eddy
charged in. Tears covered his beet-red
face as his nose ran.
In a sarcastic tone, Alice asked,
"What's the matter now, Eddy?"
Her young oon said, "Jack Barber
pushed me out of the window and I hurt my
arm." The tears rolled on.
A concerned Joe asked, "What window?"
Eddy pointed to his left and said "At
that new house they're building."
Whack 1 Alice slapped Eddy in the
face. "I told you not to play over ..."
"What in the hell did you do that for,"
"Because he's not supposed to play over
"Eddy, did your .mother tell you not
to play at that house?"
"Well . . . yeah, she did."
"Go to your roon, NOW!" Joe ordered.
Eddy walked out. Alice sighed and
looked at Joe. "Can you believe him?"
"I said, 'shut up'. I'm sick of
hcvins you screaming every time I come
A place of chain link fences,
Bleached white rocks,
And bark chips.
The neighbor's dog
Lies panting in his cage,
Anticipating one snail misstep,
So he can lunge at his imprisonero
And gobble up the children
With eager tongue.
While on the other side,
The elders speak no English
And work the earth
Wearing conical hats,
And magical flowers
Sprout out of the dirt.
While I in the middle,
Smile deliciously at the dog
And talk perversely to the gardeners ,
Peering, over my steely shield.
"I bog your pardonl"
"You can beg all you want and you
won't get my pardon. You're always up-
set about someone or something and I'm
sick of hearing about it."
"Look, I told him not to play over
there, and he did anyway."
"Okay, so he made a mistake. I
mean, come on, he is just a kid."
"But I told him."
"So he '3 being punished now. He's
in there sweating, thinking about it.
Later , continued
You didn't have to snack Miuin the face.
Don't you ever get tired of baift£ in a
"What do you mean?"
"You know what I mean. You're con-
stantly ragging about sone thing."
"Boy, I guess you had a bad day."
"Yeah, and you cure as hell don't
help it any."
Sarcastically, she replied, "Well, I'm
"No, you're not. Just get ne my 'in-
ner," Joe moved over to the table and sat
"Get it yourself!" Alice said.
"Fine then'" Joe walked to the kitchen
doorway and screamed. "Eddy, get your
jacket and come out here."
"Where are you going?" asked Alice.
"To get some food."
"Fine. Just run out."
same set as the one Eddy had broken the
week before. She'd gotten a dozen for
two dollars. "They were no"big invest-
ment. Why did I holler at him?"
When she got to the refrigerator,
she could not open it. Tears obscured
her vision as she set the glass down.
She returned to the living room where
she laid on the couch and cried. She
actually cried herself to sleep ...
Crunch! She awoke to the sound of
a slamming door.
"Eddy, why don't you go somewhere
and play for awhile,
that net/ house."
What should I do?"
As Joe walked through the door ,
Alice was there to greet him.
"I'm sorry," was the simultaneous
Stay away from
"I will. I'm taking Eddy so he doesn't statement uttered by both.
have to be treated like some juvenile
In a weeping tone, Alice said, "Would
you cut it out?"
"No. The poor kid can't do anything
right in your book. Last week, he dropped
a glass, while trying to help you clean up
the kitchen and you hollered at him all
night. I mean, come on, I'm sure he dropp
ped it on purpose. " Joe coughed. "You're
creating a monster."
"Yeah, Dad?" Eddy said as he approach-
"Go wait out in the car, kid." When
Eddy walked out the door, Joe turned,
looked at Alice and said, "When we get
back, let' 3 get this thing straightened
out. Why don't you get your priorities in
line?" With that, Joe left the house,
jumped into the car. Alice watched as they
drove out of the driveway.
Alice walked over to the living room
sofa and sat down. She was extremely up-
"Asshole. Jerk. Stubborn. Ignorant."
All of these thoughts came to mind when
she'd thought of what Joe had said. She
convinced herself she'd done what was right
and then stood up and proceeded toward the
Upon entering, she grabbed the plate
of chicken and walked over to the table.
She sat down and began eating a wing when
she started to question her actions.
"Look dear," Joe said. "I'm really
sorry about jumping ell over you. The
boss chewed me out because I blew an
account." Joe tossed off his sport
coat and loosened his tie as he said,
"After that, I was so upset that I could-
n't think straight all day. Look, I'm
really sorry. I guess I'm not around
here all day to really see and know what
you go through."
"Thanks, Joe, but ... you were
right in the first place."
"Yeah. I'm just sick of being
locked up in this house all day. I'm
sorry, but it's just driving rae crazy.
I mean, the sane thing every day."
"Do you think we need a vacation?"
"No, not at all. A vacation would
only delay it. The problem is here. We
have to deal with it."
"I don't know what to do."
"Maybe I should see a psychiatrist."
"Get serious. You don't need that."
"I am serious. It may help, you
"My ass, it will help. I'll be
damned if I'm gonna pay some creep one
hundred dollars an hour to tell you
you've got a problem. You're the one
who has to fix it."
"How 'bout a job then?"
"Look, I apologized once. If you
think you've got a problem, then do
"Is Joe right?" she thought. "No, no," what you want. I can't help you."
she told herself. "He ju3t had a bad day."
She then continued on the wing . . . "Or
did he?" She dropped the food. "Am I
ruining Eddy?" She
to think of
their ten-year-old, the hope and dreams
they had for him. "Am I thr&Tis^* all of
this out the window?"
Alice left her chair to get a glass of
uillc. She went to the cupboard and got a
;la.<3o. As she walked to the refrigerator,
-he examined the glass. It was out of the
The two sat and watched TV for the
rest of the evening. Silence was like
a blanket covering the room. Joe went
to bed about 10:30 p.m.
When Joe awoke at 7:00 a.m. , Alice
was nowhere to be seen. She'd left a
note that read: "The problem is mine. I
have to fix it. Take care of Eddy,
please. Why do we always wind up hurting
the ones we love most, the worst of all,
and most often. Love Alice. Later."
Sherry Meyer c
A long, long, long, long tine ago in a
Very? very, very, very far away place, there
lived two kids. They were brother and
sister named Matt and Mandy. They were
spoiled rotten and ungrateful little snips.
Matt and Mandy always fought with each
-other and «ware snotty with their -parents -...
except when their parents had a present
for then. Matt and Mandy didn't have any
Matt and Mandy' s favorite place was
the playroon — closest to their toys,
in other words. They always played there
except when their mother, escaping a moment
for herself, told them to go outside and
"Come on, Mandy, I'll beat you to tbe
"Oh, shut-up, Matt. Do you want to
bring any of our toys outside with us?"
"No, they're not fun anymore."
"Hey, Mandy, don't slam the . . ."
but it was too late. "Mandy, that's the
last time I'll have the door slammed in
my face. I'm gonna kill youi"
The dark, eerie-looking woods i3
always the place Matt and Mandy go while
outside. They never seem to mind the damp
dark chilliness that wrap3 the forest. It
greets them, opening its arms and welcoming
them into Its bosom.
Forgetting about dinner, Matt and his
sister played until they noticed the woods
darkening, signaling to them that it was
time to go. •* -I
"Matt, I'm going now. I'm bored.
Let's go home and see if we got some new
"So go on. Are ya scared? Ha, ha.
Mandy-Pandy's scared. IThat a baby!"
"Shut your face, Pig, or I'll beat
ya up again, Matty Fatty."
"Oh, yeah?" threatened Matt, picking
up a dead branch to hurl at Mandy. "Mandy,
look. Look up there."
"Oh, you really think I'm gonna look
up there so you can throw that at me. I'm
glad I got more brains than you, Matt.
You're such a . . ."
"Mandy, look!" exclaimed Matt, drop-
ping his stick and pointing up to a tree.
"What is it, Matt, huh?"
Up in a tree, on a branch, there lay
a bright ball of glowing light.
"Go up there, Matt. Get it!" But
there was no need for Mandy to say any-
thing because Matt was on his way up.
Falling to the ground, Matt said,
"I can't get it!"
"Let's throw something at it," Mandy
added, throwing rocks and branches at the
illuminated mass til It was struck.
"Oh, my- Go..."
The mass grew, lighting the once- dark-
ened woods to a glow so fierce that Matt
and Mandy had to cover their eyes. The
THREE MONTHS BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Twa3 three months before Christmas
and all through the stores
all the stockboys were stocking
and the bosses were hoarse.
The mannequins were dressed
in the windows with care
in hopes* that ~thH- spendthrifts • « ~ -
soon would be there.
The children walked slowly
all snug in Pro Keds
while E.T. and Star Wars
throbbed in their heads
And Martha in her Jordache
and I in my cap
Had just decided
to find the Mall map,
when up on the stage
I watched with amazement
a man dressed in green
dancing there on the pavement.
"I'm a dancing dollar,"
he said with a shout,
"and I only appear
to those with clout.
And because I'm really
such a neat guy,
I shall offer you credit
on anything you buy.
or a white Christmas tree,
or even a sports car,
if that is your plea.
A personal appearance
by Barnum and Bailey,
or a*tree*bf youf roots R?*?-
made by Alex Hailey."
I looked at him
and agreed to give in
as he set down his cane
and hid his grin.
Then putting his finger up his nose
he gave it a poke and up he rose.
Clinging to the girders
up all the way,
I wondered if this nan
also had a sleigh
And as the sun had set
to bring on the night
I heard him say
before he faded from sight,
from beginning to end,
and now don't you worry
about how much you spend."
light dulled, but Matt and Mandy 's as-
tonishment hadn't. They continued to
stare at the dulled fireball.
"What is it, Mandy?"
Befqre she was able to answer, the
fireball grew until it reached well over
Matt's head, then a huge puff Slackened
the air with blue smoke and a smell
like that of rotten egg salad.
"What the heck!" Matt caid, almost
in a whisper o
The puff turned into a heap of shapes ,
creating a puppet-like creature. It wac
black and white, made up of triangular and
rectangular chapeo, somehow held together
by masses of air surrounding each geometric
chape. The face wac a fat, round globe of
shiny wood. Everything ceened painted on
the puppet — itc eyec, noce, ears, and red
spots portraying cheeks. The mouth was a
string of black yarn which began to nove.
"Hey Matt, let's go. Matt!"
"Shh! Mandy, wait a sec."
"DON'T MOVE," the puppet chouted,
springing up on flat, pater- thin feet.
Matt and Mandy were not terrified, grasped
"Will you look at this?" the puppet
proclaimed'. "Mandy in her beautiful pink
dress and shiny shoes, and Matt, big, tough
Matt. Matt, what's wrong? Mandy? Are you
both afraid of me. Huh? Huh? Huh? Aha-
ba-ha-ha," laughed the huge puppet. "Well,
are you!! Afraid of no, Klondimple!"
"Yes, we are."
"Good children, good. Do you want to
"Would you stay if I offered you some
toys? Some new, beautiful toys? I know
haw much you love your toys. Would you
"T-t-toys! Toys for us?" Matt and
<4mdy cried joyously.
"Yes, you like that. Ha, you spoiled
Gotten kids "2 You're terrified of me, but
Jou still want the toys I have to offer.
b**b greed!" The puppet KLondimple growled
spinning around and around, factor and fact-
fcf on the forest's carpet.
"If it would only take a little time,
7feah, sure," Mandy said, chewing her bot-
KLondimple thought for a moment. Lift-
a ten- inch paper-thin finger, he asked
Mandy and Matt what toys they wanted.
"Oh, I want a wagon," said Matt.
"Don't you already have two of them?"
"Yeah, but I want more
said. Matt excited.
"And I want some red jacks. "
"Some blocks — big blocks."
"Oh, and I want a new bike."
"Me too, and some dolls."
"Give me more blocks'.'"
"And I want some..."
"Oh, and a . . ."
"I lore ..."
"I want ..."
"Wait! Stop it!! The both of you's!"
411 these 'I wants' and 'give mes'. I can't.
>ven tinder ctand you's. You don't really
think you're going to .g&fc._alL.i-hAK^ tioja
, more, more!"
for nothing ... do YOU? No , there
will be a nr i co you will have to pay."
"A . * . a . . . price? What kind
of price?" asked Matt, looking at the
"You will both change your behavior,
"Oh, is that all? That's easy.
Come on, give us the toys and we'll go
home right away." Mandy sounded cure
"No, that's not all, you fools!"
said the creature, raising himself in
mid-air. "You are really going to have
to change. You will become different
children — helpful, honest, appreciat-
ive, well-mannered, children! Now, my
little monsters," Klondimple floated
around Matt and Mandy, "If you fail — ■
and pray that you don't — my spell will
deliver and you, my dear, little, sweet
Mandy, and you, brave, tough Matt, will
diminish into your wooden friends! You
will join your 'friends' upon the chelf
as another 'plaything'. Do you under-
"Yah, sure," they said together,
answering Klondimplo's questions, without
the faintest idea of what he said. "Now
where are our toys?" asked Matt.
"Go home, and they will be there,
all for you tc enjoy, but for how long?
How long, children? Now, flee away, re-
move yourcolvuc f rom me, but remember to
watch your behavior. The slightest vish
you choose to ignore from your parents
will cost you dearly!" And with that,
puppet Klondimple turned into a fireball,
rising to the star- sprinkled sky, illumi-
nating the forest, then vanished.
"Hurry. Come on. Let's go!"
"Yeah, hurry up," Matt said, anxious
to get home.
"I guess we have to behave now? Is
that what he meant?"
"I guess so. Come on, let's hurry.
Don't worry, we'll find a way out of it,
Mandy. Nothing will happen."
When Matt and Mandy entered their
bicchwood cottage, marking the floor with
their dirty feet, they went straight to
their playroom. Opening the door, they
couldn't believe their eyes. The room
was filled with bright, new, shiny toys.
In a rush, they started digging through
these new, undeserved playthings.
"Look, Mandy. Look at this."
"Oh, Matt, look, look-"
"Amanda, Matthew, where have you
been?" asked Mother in the other room.
"Hey, Matt, remember what Klondimple
"Yeah. Hey, Mandy, instead of hav-
ing to behave and stuff, why don't we
just take our new toys and run away!"
"Hey, yeah. Then we don't have
to wox-ry. That's a great idea!"
"Okay, then, let's hurry!"
"Matthew, Amanda. I'm talking to
you! Nov/ get in here. I'm going to
count tn three and, if I don't see you
out of that room, you've had It!"
Still no answer. "One, two, three,
that does it. I'm coming in there and you
better have a good excuse.
** "A' 'A' ** **
But when she got there, there wasn't
anyone in the room. Just a roomful
of some toys.
Mary Rose Stonehouse
Are you the captain of your ship
Or only a swabby along for the ride?
Do you feel in control of what happens to you,
Or are you the pawn of luck and fate?
Do you rush to the daily horoscope to have a quick giggle —
Or to find your Life Instructions?
Isn't it better to feel in charge of your life,
And take rcoponcibility for what happens to you
Than to feel out of control ,
That outside events are taking charge of you?
The choice is yours, unless Omarr* knows better.
"Sydney Omarr is syndicated worldwide writer
of astrology column.
Michael A. Stillman
AND AFTER THAT SHE NEEDED TO REST
Look*:' ' *»•-♦•'••
Lj Mary on a crazy quilt
of broken dreams and mended hope —
the cloudy patchwork
of image and emotion
that her memory calls
Fasten seat belts
Oil brake Alt
Oil Brake Alt
Fasten scat belts
No parking here to corner
School crossing ahead
£j She yields a tear,
and the night shatters into a million crystal r.hardo . ^*
embedding in her brain; „ ,,.... on
. , - . . J Speea lxnat 30
acid-frozen, nxasmic chasm, c
oold grip, death,
\ | A square of matted indigo:
the optimism we call space .
a null-a void ...
her ancestral home,
on a chill and distant star.
[ J A square of contemplation:
the dreamer or the dream,
or the gray space in between?')
£"""| A frame of surprise and pain —
a tithe to experience
P~i she wraps.
Left lane must turn left
No turn on red
Red/White Red/White Red/White Red/White
Red/White Red/White Red /White Red/White
Red/White Rod/White R e d/White Red/White
Mary Rose Stonehouoe
TI3C KOREAN PAJAMAS
My mother always telle ne that no-
torial possessions aren't supposed to last
very long in this world or even if they do,
they lose their importance to us with the
passing of time. In my experience, I've
found this to be false. In my case, a
pair of child's pajamas is one of the
material possessions I've cherished for
over thirty years.
It all started back in the Korean War
(1950), my father was a reconnaisance fly-
er in the Air Corps. This entailed flying
into Korea and taking pictures of possible
bombing sights. In Joliet, my mother,
my brother (age two) and myself (age 3)
were waiting for his tour of overseas duty
to be over with.
As many American service men did, he
wanted to bring back souvenirs to his fam-
ily. My dad chose fans, vases, exquisite
Chinese dolls, little children's toys,
twenty- four- carat gold-edged dishes, and
finally, for me, his little girl, a pair
of delicate, brown, silk pa jama bottoms and
a hand- loomed gold and aqua Chinese mand-
darin top. The scene on the mandarin top
was a fairy tale of Pagodas, princesses,
fragile flying birds, twisting trees with
pink heart-shaped leaves, and a host of
exotic flowers of every transparent hue.
Several years later, we moved back to
Rufflin' at the sight
Of raggedy golden marigolds
Standing staunchly upright.
Gettin' ready for tea.
Creepin' up wickedly.
Gardener on his knees
Pluckin' mighty hard.
His lone winter body,
Palest thing in the yard.
good enough to win first prize in that
school pageant. Again seeing them, I
recalled how my father and I vised to walk
on the beach and especially how loved
and special I felt being with him.
The last time the pjs were worn
was the Halloween of 19 79. Adam, my son,
scampered around that day and completely
tore the crotch of the pants and pulled
out all the elastic in the waistband,
but it gave me great pleasure to see him
enjoy himself with my dad's gift, es-
pecially since my son was named after my
From a Womans Day magazine article ,
I got the idea of preserving my souvenir
by framing it under glass. I carefully
Joliet. Since I had gotten to big for then, mended them and had a framing shop place
I placed those pajamas in my barret drawer
wrapped in wax paper. Many times I took
them out when I was feeling lonely and just
held them. It seemed to comfort me. I
^tever told anyone because I felt strange to
share the thought of being close to my dad
by just holding- those pajamas.
The years went by, my prized Tony doll
and Betsy Wetsy doll were replaced by a
record player and record albums; "South
Pacific," "West Side Story," "Oklahoma,"
and "Kismet." These were dislodged by the
Beatles to my mother's horror. I didn't
take out my pajamas very much but I dt<S re-
wrap than in a plastic bag to protect them.
In 1964, I graduated from high school
and went to college. The pajamas were left
at home. I came back married and collected
them with my other things and noved to my
Truthfully, I completely forgot about
them until I had my first child, a girl.
I finally dug out the pajamas and let her
wear them for Halloween. She looked so
cute in them and seeing her in them trig-
gered a long-ago forgotten memory of how
gentle and soft-spoken my dad always was
The next Halloween the pjs were worn
by my second daughter. By then the elas-
tic around the tops of the bottoms was get-
f\fng...j?-txerched out.,, but. they still looked
them on a soft beige mat, then press then
under glass and edge it with a pecan
frame. I hung my pajamas in the main
hall of my home where I can see them
many times a day.
They are quite a conversation piece.
Now I don't feel strange telling people
why I framed them and what they have
meant to me. My dad was killed in Korea
shortly after sending the souvenirs he
chose for us home. Having the pajamas
is like having a little piece of him and
his love for me x/ith me always. I'll
forever value my Korean pajamas.
Cynthia Jean Craig
"Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Senator Douglas caught in adulterous
scandal! Extra! Get the Windy City
Thank you, mister. Extra! Senator
The young hawker's high-pitched voxa
continued to echo the same news heard
across the street from the Communique .
I bought the paper from the youth,
and folded back the page to read the
headline; "Senator Douglas Caught in
(continued, next, column)
Picture Perfect, continued
Scanning down the page to the article,
1 boson reeding as I continued walking up
Flipping to the page where the ctory
was continued, I caw a sensational photo
of the senator in an enticing embrace,
one that had ignited the rumors to spread
like wild fire among the adi_iir.ictrc.tivc
• --Senator Douglas was In Chicago to gain
popularity during the campaign.
Well, I thought to myself, this cer-
tainly wac a good way of doing it!
I had been remarkably fortunate to
gain possession of the photos in the first
place. It had called for perfect timing.
Actually, I just happened to be at the
right place at the right time.
Whoever chose the man to have the film
developed, carelessly made the mistake of
choooing a simpleton, because he took the
precious film to the local drug store.
It just so happened that I was in the
store at the time. I was buying aspirins
for a nasty cold, one I had had for weeks.
I overheard the man at the counter ask the
clerk when his pictures would be ready.
Actually, it was not the question itself
that drew ray attention to him. Rather, it
was the shifty, nervous look in his eyes,
as he kept looking out the store window
and at other customers.
I purposely stepped behind a tall
chelving unit out of his view and continued
to listen to his conversation.
"How long will it take to have my pic-
tures developed?" he asked the store clerk.
-- *Well, Se*ein' as it's early this mor-
nin' you're dropping 'em off, I'd say no
later 'n tomorrow afternoon."
"Exactly what time would that be?"
"Whenever the delivery boy brings 'em
back, I cu'poce," he replied with a chrug.
"I need to know the exact time. It's
I moved a few bottles aside on the
shelf in order to get a better look at him.
Judging from his well-tailored grey, three-
piece suit and polished black leather shoes,
he was a man of means. Either that or
someone hired him to make the drop and look
He began to grow more nervous and
started drumming his long, well-manicured
fingers on the counter. Trking out his
gold pocket-watch , he popped open the carv-
ed lid to check the time.
"Look," he began, "it'c only 8:45 in
the morning. Surely you can have them
back by this evening."
"Gorry, no sooner than tomorrow.
There's nothing I can do."
"Very well then, I'll be back first
thing in the morning."
Ac the clerk took his name, I made a
a note of it in my mind.
I would have to find come way to delay
him tomorrow, so I could pick up the pic-
tures before he would.
Forgetting the aspirins, I quickly
left the store to follow after him. I
watched him board the bus at the corner.
He probably rode the same bus every day.
I could easily manage to persuade the
driver to delay a few minutes longer on
his morning route with a few bills of
, Entering. tha„cprner drug .s£°r e the
following morning wearing glasses and
a disguise, I casually asked the clerk
if the pictures were back from the lab.
"Yes. Just about five minutes ago.
What's the name?"
"Mrs. Foster. Mrs. Samuel Footer.
My husband dropped our pictures off yes-
"Foster, Foster, ah yes, here they
are. Your husband seemed pretty nervous
about getting them back on time."
"Yes. They're our honeymoon pic-
tures . We have family coming this week-
end. They'd like to see them."
"Oh how nice. The total comes to
$6.50, Mr 3. Foster." I paid the clerk
and was out the door when I saw the bus
first reaching the corner. I quickened
my pace and hailed a cab. Getting in,
I told the cabbie to drive south, taking
me in the opposite direction of the store.
My hands were shaking as I took out
the package and pulled out the black and
white glossies. I gasped at what I saw!
I couldn't believe my eyes. Someone had
managed to photograph a couple in a very
lascivious situation. That's when I
realized what I had. done* This was more
than I expected. At closer inspection
of the woman in the pictures, I realized
that she was not just another voluptuous
She wac, revealingly, Senator
Douglas. Senator Rhoda Douglas. I recog-
nized all too well who the nan was.
I slipped the photos back into the
envelope and put the package into my
handbag. Relaxing against the back seat
in the cab, I thought to nycelf the
the paparazzi were certainly busy
Comirg out of the front doors of the
Windy City news building, I couldn't help
smiling to myself. I had accomplished
what I had intended to do. Well, that
should throw a bucket of ice on my
husband's affairs onee and for all.
Crossing the street at Crate and
Barrel, I heard the bell in the tower of
the First Presbyterian Church toll 6 p.m.
Reaching the Chicago City Parking Deck,
I thought to myself that this hail certain-
ly been an eventful day.
This machine . . .
Vibrating under the otrain
Feeling uncomfortably like
In the Thinker's brain
When pride tangles hie mind;
In the Lover ' s heart
When guilt clogs its valves;
In the Victim's soul
When doubt hides
Cheetoes, Doritoes, Frito Lay,
My mouth is so full what can I say?
Pringles, Ruffles, Tostitoes, Jayc,
What's this talk of a health-nut craze?
Cheetoes, Doritoes, Frito Lay,
Thunder- thighs is what they say.
Snickers, Reeses, Almond Joy,
I have three teeth just as a boy.
Froot Loops, Lucky Charms, Frankenberry ,
My dentures make me talk with a whisp.
Snickers, Reeses, Almond Joy,
I should have used a teething toy.
Twinkie, Twinkie, Hershey Bar,
I don't know what calories are.
Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, apple pie,
Too many to mention, so many to try.
Twinkie, Twinkie, Hershey Bar,
I've only gained six pounds so far.
The no-wax floor gets a well-earned bath,
the cat throws up her "Tender Vittles"o
The two- inch shag is meticulously vacuumed,
the dog sheds the "Oregan Trail" across it.
The dishes are washed to a squeaky clean
just in time for a spaghetti dinner.
"Mr. Clean" died of exhaustion in the kitchen,
no mourners grieved at his passing.
The "Wisk" failed on ring-around- the-collar,
thi3 grave phenomenon went unnoticed.
Accomplishment is not my middle name,
futility reigns supreme in my world.
Cobwebs and dust-bunnies live to ripe, old ages
in the dusty corners of my life.
An unbroken circle of disappointing achievement!
greets me enthusiastically every morning.
The no-wax floor gets a well-earned bath,
the cat throws up . . .
ALL YOU CAN EAT
All you can ec .t
Is common to see here and there,
Whatever the bill of fare.
Get your share
Whether fish, chicken, salad,
You forsake the bread,
Pass up potatoes and rice,
Go straight for the advertised
If self- serve, you go back,
Getting more than you can handle.
If the waitress asks,
"Would you care for another .oorving?"-
You reply, "Sure,"
Knowing you have had enough.
After stuffing your stomach
You rise from the table,
If you're able,
And waddle away.
Rico's nimble fingers fly
across the crusty boats,
Piling on the morsela —
vicious gas-producing bloats.
Tossing glops of secret sauce
enough to blow one's mind,
Garlic bombs of sausage —
peppers of the deadly kind.
Slicing onion rings with flair
(Frisbee-size at least),
Pastrami and 3ome pungent cheese
he spreads upon this feast.
He glances at the head-cheese
but the customer objects,
So he opts for liverwurst instead —
prosciutto mounds are next.
Lettuce and tomatoes?
What? And spoil this baby^s flavor'
■Jauorkraut has more pizzazz —
Voila! Stand back and savor i
A DIETER'S LAMENT
I surely would kill for a big juicy steak
with piles of french-fries surrounding.
I dream every night of chocolate cake
and strawberry ice-cream abounding.
Spaghetti excites me for weeks on end,
while "Boston Creme" pies tempts ne badly.
Lasagna can send me around the bend,
and_ for "Snickers'! I'd go there gladly.
A Dieter's Latent, continued
A "Big Mac" gives me goo3eburaps and shivers
and with pizza I'm not really shy.
But in my mirror I start to quiver
ao my measurements start- to-cliak high.
Now all good things must eome, ta aruend,
including -ny gluttonous ways.
So- with carrots and celery -my habits T: r Il_iaend
going hungry for live rest of my days-
Brothers of the Sea
MOUNTAINS VEILED IN MIST
Mountains veiled in mist,
Murky waters swirl and flow,
Song of restless souls.
A small shining object drifted slow-
ly through the vast starfield. Roughly
cylindrical in shape, underneath crusting
masses of rock and ice metallic fins and
wings could be seen, it floated along
aimlessly, pulled by the faint gravitation-
al whims of distant stellar bodies.
Empires rose and fell; whole galaxies
were created and destroyed. Still the
derelict wandered ^oblivious to all.
Deep inside this hunk of cosmic
driftwood, a lone passenger slept. When
the ship had been overcome by a strange
combination of gasses from the exploding
star. Now he sat, eternally frozen at
But he was not dead. By reasons
known only to God, or by some quirk of
fate, he had become suspended in time,
perfectly preserved. Only hi3 subconscious
mind still functioned normally. He dream-
ed on, never* waking.
He relived all his old memories first:
childhood sunoerc 3 grassy fields.^ cool
nights spent stargazing. He joined the
the space program again, he married, the
gas cloud engulfed his ship. Everything
re-occurred over and over again.
Hundreds of years passed. He dreamed
on incessantly. Memories of events, inci-
dents, and people began to combine and
change. Eventually, there was no truth.
His great-grandfather roared up in a
starship and brought him back home. Aftei
returning to Earth, he wound up sinking
the German battleship Bismarck, and later
winning World War II single-handedly. Or
was it World War III? No matter; a few
dreams later, he remembered that it was
his faithful German shepherd puppy, Lolf
who rescued him.
Thousands of years passed, and still
he dreamed on. Reality became a fleeting
truth. If he was rescued, how would he
know? Immortality, long sought on Earth,
had been romanticized into the "ultimate
gift." Yet at times, the sleeper knew
different. Perhaps Fate's cruelest act —
only death could ever prove out as
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Arnie Fitzenfeffer, inmate #1472546,
was paralyzed with fear. Heart thudding
and knees knocking in a wild, yet simul-
taneous staccato rhythm, he was trapped,
feet dumbly rooted to the cold, concrete
floor beneath him, transfixed by a mixture
of awe and terror that steeled his soul
to the ground. A thief and a cold-blooded
killer of countless innocents, he had
spent the last four years of his life on
death-row, waiting defiantly for the con-
summation of a sentence handed down to
him by an equally cold-blooded judge, a
sentence that would be fulfilled at exact-
ly seven-forty-five tomorrow morning. But
death wa3 not the reason for his terror; he
had seen it too many times in the eyes of
too many people to fear such an inconse-
quential, everyday occurrence as death.
Yet now the stone heart of A. Fitzenfeffe
was caught in bis dry, wordless mouth,
and his hands and underarms were soaked
with the wetness of utter panic.
The terrible light had begun as a
pale pinpoint of bright upon the cell
wall opposite his single bunk. The pin-
point was so tiny that it would have gone
unnoticed had it not been such a star tl in'
contrast to the deep, thick darkness he
had grown so accustomed to during the
past three nights he had spent in the
windowless world of solitary confinement •
Arnie would have been allowed to associat
and socialize with the other prisoners
during his final days, but as the hours
closed in on bin, like invisible hands
around his throat, he became increasingly
and irrationally violent, c tri!'inr out
The One That Got Away, continued
at prisoners and guards alike with the ob-
vious intent to kill. As a consequence,
his final three days had been spent alone
in a seven- by- seven concrete cubicle in
total darkness — until now. Until the
light appeared, an incongruous little
speck upon the cell wall opposite his sin-
gle bunk." * : "* "" * *
At first, because of the black apathy
that had settled in his gut during the
long hours of solitude, he was hardly cur-
ious, but upon realizing that there was no
logical source from whence the light could
come, he decided to investigate, and cross-
ed the tiny room to the speck on the wallo
Squinting so as to better see in the dark-
task once begun, but you must rise, dear
fellow, and quickly . . ."
Arnie rose to his knees to face the
omnipresence, his visage as dull and grey
as the death that awaited him on the other
side of the night, and began to confess.
His lips moved silently at first, but the
wotds they "formed "soon - became audible',
as, trancelike, he recited all the evil
works he had done, all the heinous crimes
he had ever committed. The light glim-
mered in approval now and then as the
night wore on.
Daylight cane, but not to the window-
less cell of Arnie Fitzenfeff er„ Eyes
screwed open wide, lips still moving, Arnie
ness, Arnie leaned forward until the tip of continued the purification process as the
his scrawny nose was all but scraping the
rough concrete as he focused his unaccus-
tomed eyes upon the light,,
It was a horrible and soundless ex-
plosion that momentarily destroyed his
senses and sent him crashing backwards in-
to his bunko With his eyes mere inches
from the vibrating speck, the light burst
open and spread immediately over the en-
tire wall as a spark spreads when drop-
ped in a pool of kerosene. The light was
cold, brilliant, and agonizingly blinding.
It swelled and throbbed majestically; it
pulsed and breathed.
light waited beside him. The rasping of
an iron key in the lock of his cell did
not deter him from his urgent task. The
brilliance faded and retreated to only
It-knew- where, as the door opened and
the sickly light of the raornin S spilled in
onto the floor of the cell, but 3till
Arnie mumbled on, totally ignoring the
priest who droned used-up words that held
no consolation for the deaf ears of in-
mate #1472546. Not even when the guard
forced him to his feet and led him out
of the cell and into the long hallway, did
Arnie cease rattling on senselessly in
Arnie was overcome, his sanity destroy-a voice too worn and rasping to be intel-
ed, his mind a slick, blank slate of black ligiblo to the human ear, but somewhere
terror. The whole wall danced monstrously, Something listened and glimmered faintly,
obscenely with the pulsing chill of the Arnie did not let up on his confes-
white light;** it surrounded Arnie and ate'' sion even as the guard strapped hii'i into
at his soul. Then within the wordless void the chair; rather, his mumbles increased
that was the mind of Arnie Fitzenfeffer , a
deep, resonant voice thundered.
"You know who I am."
A silent sob racked the prisoner's
thick body and he crumbled to the floor,
quivering like a mass of pale gelatin. A
howl began inside his head, a horrible
howl , worse than the sound of rabbits
screaming, intense and full of accusation.
Arnie' s writhing fingers tore at his hair,
and he began cracking his skull upon the
solid floor in a futile attempt to relieve
that sound, to release it from the echoing
confines of his cranium. "Please!" he
shrieked. "Get out! Get out and leave me
The howl subsided, but the voice and
the light remained. "Death will come soon
enough, too soon if you do not hurry," it
boomed urgently. "Time is the most neces-
in tempo until his voice became a weak,
hysterical babble. His rolling eyes and
writhing fingers were the only other clues
to his inner turmoil as his voice rose to
a wailing falsetto. The guard glanced
at the clock — seven-forty — and turned
to leave the death-house, the iron doors
clanging shut behind him with resouding
Arnie' s voice was a panicked infant's
wail now, and hi3 eyes darted nervously
from the clock on the wall to his own
wriggling fingers, to the unconceraed-
looking little man who stood impassively
beside THAT SWITCH smoking a cigarette,
and back to the clock again. 3avon~^ ort y'"
three, and Arnie 's wail took «n an even
greater urgency, the desperate sound of
a soul retching violently in a final,
futile attempt to cast out the last of its
sary element for complete purification, you demons forever. S even- forty- four s and
know." A-rnie still shook in a heap upon the faceless little man by the wall flick-
the floor, his muscles deprived of all ed his cigarette to the floor, ground the
usefulness by the shock his mind and emo- burning ash out with the heavy heel of
tions had received. The voice*- became his boot, and placed a knobby hand upon
coaxing. "Your soul is slick .and black with THAT SWITCH in disinterested anticipa-
the slime of sin and the blood of innocent tion.
hearts. Here we give to you the chance for Arnie 's eyes were bulging now, com-
forgivenesc, for eternal life if only you pletely riveted on the second hand as
confess .and repents. Purifying is a simple it slid purposefully around the impassive
The One That Got Away, continued
face of the clock. Forty seconds — thirty The light glimmered sadly and turned
seconds — fifteen — ceven, six, five, to the star at Its metaphysical elbow.
four, three, two, one . . . "You know," said the light, "it really is
A fire hotter than holl itself buret quite a shame. The poor fellow quitG
into Arnie Fitzenfeffer' s body, boiling hie nearly made it. Only three cine left to
blood, and his babbling became a high-pit- go." It sighed.
ched howl , a horrible howl , worse even "Yes," ' a a rce j the star in rather
than the screaming of rabbits . . .
"It really is a
A lonely raindrop,
Cruises sadly down
A stagnant gutter
The bead collides
With 3pilled lies,
Mingles with falsehoods.
A purified crystal reality
Drowned in a murky corrupt pool.
THUS FAR AND NO FURTHER
We have traveled a pathway through the cosmos,
the new, uncharted, snaking river
that winds round savage stars,
threading its course past the Milky Way
into the great barbarian void.
We become mad explorers facing insane paradoxes:
we are the crowning glory of the universe,
symmetrical perfections cut down
by the bloodied spears of eternity
hacked into the infinitesimal accidents
that we are.
Our eyes see nothing but everything
in the neverending blackness;
we are nothing and everything that is . . .
And those of us who live to return
will only tell of beauty
for we dare not speak the rest.
STOLEN: One small measure
Of peace, humor, wit,
Spooky and funny stories,
Day to day happiness.
TAKEN FROM: Our minds.
CULPI1IT: Loct inr-piration.
No address known,
Still at large,
On warm Sunday afternoons ,
up and lc\7n my block j
if I listen carefully,
I can hear conversations humming,
or water sprinkling,
or \/eeds wrenching out of gardens.
My west window
brings in the allday chirp of birds,
and the cricketsongs
which start after the hot, four o'clock sun
fries me over a high flame until seven,
when it sizzles out in the liquid night.
These are silent Sundays,
and after lunch,
I relax in a sitting room
with hundreds of years in my bones
wanting to argue with Her aclitus.
The callous sentry
Oversees the maze;
Once Olympian brain,
Feast of the critics
Sapient, but vain.
Strain to recall,
The host is apalled.
A halo of smoke
Ascending the wall,
To nothing at all.
TIES PRIZE-WINNING PHOTOGRAPH
I study, over coffee,
The AP baby with bandaged eyes and
No arms ,
Held in the lap of a nurse
For its feeding.
Shaped like a bomb.
A Baby Ruth
Whose chocolate blood
Mel to into newsprint . . „
IS IT TOO LATE FOR DREAMS?
Is it too late fro dreams?
Have they been relegated
To night's dusty niches,
Shed off in daylight hours
As fantastic encumbrances?
Or have dreans dissolved altogether?
Soiaeone — King, I think,
Held a drean in his head.
Images were shot to p i e c e s
On a balcony.
Nobody picked «p the dream part,
And ducted off the treasure.
Is it too late for dreams?
Lang s ton knew
What happened to dreams put off.
Judy Bel field
ST. MARTIN AND THE BEGGAR
A ghostly gray-white horse
against the sickly green sky
which teases his pale sinews,
bleeds through his flank3 so delicately,
like age wlklah comes to the shroud by moments
and barely touches the folds
with silent fingers.
On his back a regal saint
in colors bold and brilliant —
a freeflow of passionate hues
conn trained by fabric
tightly fitted to his broad chest.
Beside the pallid horse,
a lean-limbed beggar,
tall and gaunt,
with 3kin as thinly tinted as a specter.
And all around,
the sickly green sky weeps
like drainage from infected sores,
and we are trapped for evermore
Certain people forget sometimes
And slip up and say things
The word doesn't bother me so much
I just wonder why they forget.
GRACE BEFORE MEALS
A Snow White death —
Like teeth which pierce
A magic apple.
Meanwhile, far from Monaco
(Just left of Hollywood)
Mrs. Nextdoor dies dirty.
u cly takes it slow,
A slice at a time.
She dies like grey baloney.
No one seems to notice
llev mortality's gone stale.
*l strongly fffl&l tftst to a certain exfieiat
there are altna-si as flamy unlivar&es as. tNre
are people., that «uch Irat'lvidaal In soste sense
lives in a uirtws* of his mm waking: it is:
a product of h!*'b*lwg« a personal achtttveiwnt
he sht»ut4 perhaps be prwttt of- M
Philip K. Dick